August 19, 2019

Winnipeg
14° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Embracing a taste for zero waste

The Forks moving fully toward using only reusable dining ware

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Clare MacKay and Dave Pancoe of The Forks, seen Tuesday in the main hall, are pleased with reaction to the shift to reusable dining ware.</p>

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Clare MacKay and Dave Pancoe of The Forks, seen Tuesday in the main hall, are pleased with reaction to the shift to reusable dining ware.

Real plates, cutlery and glassware are now being served at The Forks.

Three weeks into a soft rollout, there are a few specialty items — such as bento boxes — that still may be served on paper or plastic.

But within a month, every meal will be served on reusable plates, said Clare MacKay, vice-president of corporate and community initiatives for The Forks.

“People love it,” MacKay said Tuesday.

Get the full story:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Real plates, cutlery and glassware are now being served at The Forks.

Three weeks into a soft rollout, there are a few specialty items — such as bento boxes — that still may be served on paper or plastic.

But within a month, every meal will be served on reusable plates, said Clare MacKay, vice-president of corporate and community initiatives for The Forks.

"People love it," MacKay said Tuesday.

"Whenever the move to paper plates and takeaway containers happened, it was for pure convenience, but it used to be that things were served on plates. So now, we’re coming almost full circle back to it.

"Tenants love it because their food looks better, and patrons love it because it feels like a dining experience."

Diners at The Forks seemed to be in agreement.

"It’s environmentally better, I love that. And it feels better to eat from a real plate," Katrin Bruckner said.

"It’s handy," Jude Asainayagam said. "If it’s paper, it won’t hold the weight," he said, motioning to his cheeseburger.

There’s another benefit: because the dishes are centrally sorted, staff can put all leftover food in the compost bin. It’s processed on-site and the finished compost gets used at The Forks, too.

"Our timing was pretty good," said Dave Pancoe, manager of special projects for The Forks. "It seems like it’s at a fever pitch of people’s awareness of plastics.

"Nothing is served at the market that we can’t compost," he said. That includes all 3,000 transactions — thousands of meals — every day.

Composting on-site will save The Forks an estimated $12,000 in garbage-removal costs each year.

It may actually make money by taking compostable materials from the University of Winnipeg, Inn at The Forks, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

All the tenants will share dishes, washed by staff at The Forks at a dishwashing station installed last month. MacKay said staffing changes weren’t really needed, since there were already trays that had to be washed, but new staff have been hired to work at the outdoor patio at The Common.

It took some time to pick the right dishes to fit all the different types of food on offer — and make it look good — MacKay said.

The change to reusable dishware and composting leftovers is expected to divert one-third of the total waste at The Forks. MacKay said the remaining waste will be tougher to tackle, but the next steps will include looking at packaging and shipping materials.

"We’ll continue to adapt," she said.

Other Target Zero initiatives — listed on The Forks’ website — include using waste cooking oil to power diesel equipment used to ice the river trail.

"If you’re skating behind the ice resurfacer, it smells like French fries — or mini doughnuts, depending on the day," MacKay said.

tvanderhart@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @tessavanderhart

Tessa Vanderhart

Tessa Vanderhart
Reporter

Tessa Vanderhart is interested in everything, but especially local news, health policy and statistics.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us