Green bin pilot project ends with some high hopes
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/09/2022 (185 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
After two years of throwing everything from spoiled food to coffee grounds to used paper towels and tissues into a green bin for curbside pickup, thousands of Winnipeggers will start throwing them into the garbage again.
The city’s two-year, $1.8-million curbside compost collection pilot project ends next week.
A letter this week to residents in the 4,000 homes involved — spread across five collection routes in six council wards — includes information on how to fill out a short survey so the city can find out more about how the experience went for them, and if they have any advice.
A final civic report on the project will go to council next year.
Mission Gardens resident Lisa Webinger says she is sorry to see it go, and hopes its absence is only temporary.
“I love the program,” she said Wednesday. “I really hope they implement this citywide.”
The pilot project started in October 2020, in the Mission Gardens, Daniel McIntyre, Inkster Gardens, Linden Woods/Linden Ridge, and St. George neighbourhoods.
Residents were given both a 120-litre curbside cart and a seven-L collection container and were told they could dump in all food waste, as well as paper products soiled by food and many other items, using paper and/or BPI-certified compostable plastic bags.
“I’ve noticed a large decrease in the garbage going out,” Webinger said. “I’ve actually started putting garbage out only once every two weeks. I’m going to feel guilty putting (green bin items) back in the garbage.”
Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), who was chairwoman of council’s water and waste committee when the pilot began, said that is the type of response she was hoping to hear.
“I’m really excited to get the results,” Gilroy said. “From my own ward, I’ve gotten some very positive responses — people hope it will keep going. We are the last major city in Canada not to have a program like this.”
Gilroy said food waste is a huge contribution to the filling of landfills, as well as being a large issue keeping the city from reaching climate change targets.
Depending on how everything is set up, a citywide program could also help divert pet waste, she added. “The hope would be we will all have a green bin and it will be filled, while your black bin of garbage will be half-empty.”
Water and waste committee chairman Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) said he, too, is also looking forward to the report — and beyond.
“It is exciting we’ll be looking at it,” Mayes said. “The new council will get the report. (The municipal election is Oct. 26; both Mayes and Gilroy are seeking new terms.)
“It’s something I want to see council adopt in the next term.”
Mayes said the only criticism he has received about the program was actually positive: “I’ve had people complain that we’re stopping it… We had strong uptake for it — I think well over 90 per cent responded to take the bins.”
Mayes admits six years ago he was skeptical about such a citywide program, but not now.
“Even Brandon has it already,” he said. “If we’re going to do something about climate, we can do this.”
Count Webinger among the supporters.
”It is super easy. The only thing you have to do is move three bins instead of two,” she said. “I don’t see why they wouldn’t implement this citywide.”
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.