Minimizing and reducing waste in your community can result in immediate environmental benefits, both locally and globally.
Many First Nations in Manitoba would like to start or enhance their waste management programs, but finding out what to do and who to contact can be challenging. Green Action Centre offers a variety of resources and services to support Manitoba First Nations to minimize waste and recycle more. At home, at school and in the community.
Find resources that support your community to protect the land, air and water. Explore the 4 R’s of minimizing waste – Respect, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
benefits of managing waste
Water is Life
Protect your water from the dangers posed by hazardous wastes seeping into the ground, lakes and rivers
Keep Mother Earth healthy for future generations
Beauty of the Land
Preserve the natural beauty and health of the land, water, forests and wildlife
Protect your children and all community members from toxic or hazardous materials
Make it easier to breathe by not burning plastics and other recyclables
Sharing is Caring
Sharing gently used goods at low or no cost benefits everyone in the community
Reducing the amount of litter around your community and at the landfill helps everyone feel better
Reducing the amount of stuff we buy saves money, reduces waste and frees us from having to keep up with the latest trends
Growing food in the community provides fresh, healthy produce and reduces the amount of food packaging waste
When planning how to reduce waste in your community, here are a couple of ‘reality checks’ to consider. Avoid frustration later by reading these now.
#1 Recognize that you will not likely make money from recyclable materials.
There are many good reasons to safely handle and reduce waste in your community but creating revenue is not one of them.
#2 Consider starting with collecting old cell phones, household batteries, tires or electronic waste.
While many communities want to start with residential recycling (‘blue box’), it can be challenging. The programs and materials listed above are more straightforward.
Here are some highlights about reducing waste and recycling from communities that we have interacted with.
Have a story to share about how your Manitoba First Nation reduced, reused or recycled waste? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it below.
Bloodvein First Nation
In 2018, Bloodvein First Nation became a collection site for paint, compact fluorescent lights, and aerosol containers. A representative from the Product Care Association came out to train community members how to safely handle the materials.
Wasagamack and Garden Hill First Nations
In 2020-21, during the pandemic travel restrictions, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority and others held a winter clothing drive for Wasagamack and Garden Hill communities.
Peguis First Nation
In 2018, Peguis First Nation landfill staff took training to manage electronic waste for recycling, and registered as a collection depot with the Electronic Products Recycling Association. By spring 2020, Peguis had shipped out 11,440 kg of electronic waste to be recycled.
Wasagamack First Nation
In February 2020, landfill staff at Wasagamack participated in the industry stewardship backhaul pilot project. This resulted in 931 tires being shipped out on the winter road.
RISE Webinar Series
First Nation educators from across Manitoba have attended the Recognizing Indigenous Sustainable Education (RISE) conference and webinar series. Missed them? Check out the 2020 and 2021 webinars to hear about school composting, student green teams, land-based and outdoor education, how to conduct a school waste audit, and much more.
Bunibonee Cree Nation
Since 2017, Bunibonibee Cree Nation and Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) have been working to safely crush end-of-life (scrap) vehicles and have them removed from the community.
Buffalo Point First Nation
Buffalo Point has been recycling for a few years through pickups from Eastman Recycling Services. They have recently transitioned to a partnership with the Rural Municipalities of Piney and Stuartburn to haul their residential recycling to the recycling depot in St. Malo.
Pine Creek First Nation
In 2019, community residents came together to hear about the planned transfer station to be built and to play the 4Rs bingo game!
Peguis First Nation
In 2018-19, Peguis First Nation landfill recycled just under 120 tonnes of scrap metal. The landfill manager was able to arrange for a pick up from Interlake Salvage and Recycling.
First Aid Training
In 2019, 14 landfill staff from six Manitoba First Nations and the Keewatin Tribal Council gathered in Winnipeg for First Aid Training.
Garden Hill First Nation
In February 2020, the end-of-life vehicle recycling crew participated in the industry stewardship backhaul pilot project. This resulted in 4 pallets of lead batteries (about 100 batteries) being shipped out on the winter road.
Fisher River Cree Nation
In 2021, Charles Sinclair School started composting. Fencing is being considered to help keep out stray animals and wildlife. Hear about the school’s initiative in this YouTube video.
St. Theresa Point First Nation
In 2020, St. Theresa Point First Nation partnered with MARRC to install their second used oil burner in the community in the vehicle recycling and repair garage.
- Innowaste – Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources
- Find Your Eco-Depot (MB)
- Indigenous Food First (CIER)
- Manitoba Industry Stewardship Programs
- WasteWise (MB)