Opposition to Winnipeg organic waste pickup grows

Councillors Ross Eadie and Russ Wyatt will bring a motion to city council next week aimed at killing a proposed residential organic waste pickup program. It's too expensive and not thought out.
City councillors see organic pickup program as a waste of money. (CBC News)

Councillors Ross Eadie and Russ Wyatt will bring a motion to city council next week aimed at killing a proposed residential organic waste pickup program. 

The plan is subject to public consultations before being introduced, but some city councillors are already balking at fees for the curbside pickup that would run from $55 to $100.

"They are estimating $55 to $100, but they can't even come up with the costing [for the infrastructure]," Mynarski councillor Ross Eadie said.

Compost pickup fees in the works, says Winnipeg city councillor

Eadie and Wyatt join St. Vital councillor Brian Mayes and St. Boniface representative Matt Allard in expressing concerns over the proposed organic waste program.

The goal of the plan is to reduce greenhouse gases being emitted from the city's Brady Road landfill. The fee range includes simple organic waste through to including pet waste.

Eadie says his residents are phoning him with concerns about the fees and he has problems with how city staff have planned the program. 

"They never did the pilot—the trial, of the curb-side. They were supposed to do a little trial, before they moved ahead and did a city-wide operation to find out what the problems might be here in Winnipeg, because Winnipeg is quite different than Toronto and other cities."

Earlier this week councillor Matt Allard raised concerns he was hearing in his St. Boniface ward.

"They have spoken loud and clear in St. Boniface that they don't like this option. It's a flat fee and if you have already been composting for the past 20 years you have to pay and people are feeling this doesn't make sense," said Allard.

Mayor Brian Bowman told reporters following an executive policy meeting this week he supports the reduction of greenhouse gases, but residents will get their say before the program fees are implemented. 

Home compost collection will cost Winnipeggers more green, mayor says

Eadie and Wyatt's motion to city council calls for scrapping the plan and finding other options:

  • Immediately conduct a comprehensive review of the existing autobin garbage/recycling program as approved by council in the CIWMP 2011 report and report back to council before the last council meeting of 2016. The said review shall include a full analysis of the existing program, failures to meet promised levels of service, as well as comprehensive recommendations and steps required, that are fully costed, to improve the existing program/service.

  • Immediately suspend the implementation plan for curbside SSO (kitchen waste) collection, and cancel any and all plans to conduct public consultations on a curbside SSO program.

  • Develop a citywide program to reduce organics waste from commercial, industrial and institutional waste and report back to council in 180 days.

  • Develop a citywide organic diversion program that would be community based and work with existing not-for-profit groups and organizations and report back to council in 180 days.

  • Improve the existing program of subsidized organic bins for Winnipeg residents, by reviewing and potentially increasing the bin cost subsidy, increasing the times and locations when bins will be made available, and by increasing the options for the type of models of compost bins being made available at the subsidized rate, and report back to council in 180 days.