Province puts $8.7M into waste-diversion sector


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Children’s car seats destined for the dump are instead being detoured to a Point Douglas recycling centre with support from a government program to divert waste from landfills.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/10/2022 (222 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Children’s car seats destined for the dump are instead being detoured to a Point Douglas recycling centre with support from a government program to divert waste from landfills.

Mother Earth Recycling, an Indigenous-owned social enterprise in central Winnipeg, received $30,000 from the Manitoba government Tuesday to turn expired car seats into household items (including coasters and planters) and plastic sheets for the manufacture of other products.

“They’re not normally recycled here in Manitoba,” said Mother Earth Recycling general manager Jessica Floresco.

Old car seats will be turned into household items, including coasters and planters at Mother Earth Recycling with the help of funding from the province. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

The organization has already collected about 1,000 car seats to recycle this winter.

“So we’re going to be shredding those down into really fine, tiny little pieces of plastic and we put them through different processes of melting and moulding,” she said.

Environment Minister Jeff Wharton announced a total of $8.7 million in government spending Tuesday to support waste-diversion programs across Manitoba.

The funding will allow Mother Earth Recycling to advance its work reusing plastics that would otherwise end up at the dump, Floresco said. The expanded recycling lines will also allow the business to increase its service and stability.

The facility got its start in 2015 processing mattresses that would otherwise take up space at the landfill.

“Projects like this allow us and, hopefully, many others across the province to start pulling out materials that would normally go to the landfill and start reusing them,” Floresco said. ”There is an abundance of plastics going to the landfills, so there is a lot of work to go around.”

Wharton also announced $700,000 for the Product Care Association to collect and properly dispose of stockpiled household hazardous waste; $50,000 for the Manitoba Association of Regional Recyclers; and $875,000 in Manitoba Composts Support Payments to private and public compost facilities, among other recipients.

A total of $7 million is being provided to dozens of municipalities and Northern Affairs communities in the form of recycling rebates for blue bin programs.

Mother Earth Recycling general manager Jessica Floresco (right) and Environmen Minister Jeff Wharton. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

“Manitoba’s waste diversion rate increased in 2021 to 18.5 per cent, up from 18 per cent in 2020,” Wharton said.

Provincially supported waste-diversion projects have also spared about 82,000 tonnes of organic waste from the landfill, Wharton said. Organic waste accounts for about 40 per cent of material dumped in landfills in Manitoba, he noted.

The minister said he wants to see more organic waste composted, though the provincial government has not set specific targets.

“Messaging is important when it comes to organic waste,” Wharton said, adding he has a compost bin at his family home in the Interlake region. “We need to make sure we’re messaging it properly… the sky’s the limit.”

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva

Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.

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