Greens announce plans for zero waste in Manitoba

The Green Party of Manitoba would introduce cost-sharing municipal composting programs, enhanced producer responsibility for waste diversion and a ban on single-use plastics if elected, party leader James Beddome said Saturday.

Leader James Beddome pledges municipal compost program, ban on single-use plastics if elected

Green leader James Beddome announced the party's plans for moving to zero waste in Manitoba on Saturday, including cost-sharing municipal composting programs, banning single-use plastics and enhancing producer responsibility for waste diversion. (Thomas Asselin/CBC)

The Green Party of Manitoba would introduce a municipal compost program and a ban on single-use plastics if elected, party leader James Beddome announced Saturday.

"We urgently need bold vision supported by practical measures that moves Manitoba to a zero-waste situation as quickly as possible," he said.

The party's plan includes the development of a Manitoba-wide composting program for residential and commercial sectors. The Greens would also contribute one-third of the estimated $120 million it would cost to build a compost facility in Winnipeg, Beddome said. 

He added the Greens would also ban single-use plastics and introduce enhanced producer responsibility measures if elected. These measures would include an increase in tipping fees, which is the charge levied against garbage received at waste-processing facilities, so people are motivated to recycle, he said.

"We want to introduce measures that stem the production of garbage through incentives and rebates," Beddome said.

Beddome said there is a lack of local opportunities to recycle certain materials in the province.

"Manitoba has some product-specific programs for diverting waste, but it lacks an overarching strategy," he said.

David Nickarz, who is running for the provincial Greens in Wolseley, said places like Organic Planet Worker Co-op and The Forks have already taken positive steps toward reducing waste.

"There's some companies and small businesses taking the lead in this province and we need to help them," said Nickarz. "By diverting waste, we can address climate change, create green jobs and protect the health of both people and the planet. The time for bold and meaningful action is now."

Despite the Greens trailing in the polls, leader Beddome said the party has already had an impact on Manitobans.

"We're just getting started," he said. "The only real poll that counts is election day."

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