The City of Winnipeg is gearing up to give back to residents — a shovelful at a time — to celebrate Earth Day 2017.
City officials are hosting a compost giveaway Saturday at the Pacific 4R recycling depot, and kicked off the event with a press conference Friday morning.
Winnipeggers are invited to take containers and shovels and load up on compost generated as part of the city's leaf- and yard-waste collection program.
"We need to remind people we are still doing this," St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes said. "The yard-waste (program) has been a success. We've picked up a ton and we're still doing it."
Mayes, chairman of the civic committee in charge of the yard waste collection program, said it has had a positive impact on the city.
Before the program began in 2012, only 18 per cent of collected waste was diverted from landfills. Now it's up to 32 per cent.
"There had been some issues over the years with yard-waste pickup, but we have it functioning better now," Mayes said.
Randy Park, the city's supervisor of waste diversion, said Saturday's event isn't likely to become an annual event because compost is a "valuable material."
"(The event) is more for education. Get the people in, understand that we are producing this material," he said, adding the Earth Day celebration will "close the loop" by giving the recycled material back to the people who provided the raw materials.
Each vehicle will be allowed to take 100 litres of compost, but the available material is limited. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 1120 Pacific Ave. facility.