On December 12, 2014, the Hon. Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, boldly went where no minister has gone before. In the announcement, he spoke of the government’s commitment to become a waste reduction leader. Green Action Centre is pleased to hear the province is moving ahead with this strategy. Executive Director Tracy Hucul and Board Member Lisa Quinn (pictured below speaking at the press conference) attended the event to express our full support for the released discussion paper.
Currently, our provincial level of waste is one of the highest in the country. For example, the average Winnipegger diverts about 30 kilos of organics from the landfill per year, whereas the national average is at 65 kilos. Minister Mackintosh announced a provincial target of 85 kilos per capita. Upon hearing this, I felt like a kid before Christmas, who has been waiting eagerly for this day to finally arrive.
The proposal draws attention to composting as a major contributor in achieving this goal. Considered low-hanging fruit so to speak, organics make up almost 40% of a household’s waste stream. Backyard composting is the best option for diversion whenever possible since it is the easiest and most affordable, having a significant lower environmental impact because of avoided transportation costs. Also, as part of this exciting announcement, we emphasize the importance in waste reduction before recycling and diversion. For example, food waste is a growing problem that can be reduced through proper meal planning and thinking ahead.
We encourage all Manitobans to share their ideas with our government. Find the consultation paper here and submit your comments on how to achieve the targets. Deadline to submit comments is March 20, 2015.