Winnipeggers managed to divert about 33% of their waste from the landfill in 2018, just slightly up from the 32.1% they prevented from reaching the dump in 2017.
The result is an improvement from the 18.6% of waste the city’s residents diverted in 2011, when Winnipeg’s waste management strategy was first introduced. But the statistic lags well behind other major Canadian cities, according to an annual waste management strategy update.
For example, a related city report states the average waste diversion rate of Calgary, Hamilton, Metro Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto is 49%.
Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), who chairs council’s water and waste committee, said it’s disappointing to see Winnipeg lag behind others on environmental progress.
“We can do better in terms of diversion rates,” said Gilroy.
The report on 2018 waste notes city-wide composting is key to meeting climate-change goals and heightening the diversion rate, since the city already expanded its recycling program and added yard waste pickups.
“We’ve done a lot of really great work, we have for 4R (recycling) depots going, (we collect) backyard and leaf waste … But at the end of the day, the biggest thing we need to do to divert our waste is an organics program,” said Gilroy.