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The surprising truth about garbage in Winnipeg

Posted on March 28, 2018

Our team here at FortWhyte Alive is feeling inspired after a day of learning and professional development at the Brady Road Resource Management Facility.

You might think that we chose to visit our city's landfill in order to deliver a depressing, finger-pointing waste education message. To the contrary, we left Brady excited and empowered by what we learned — and hope you will be, too.

That's because Brady has made great strides in segregating and diverting waste from ending up in a landfill through upgrades to their depot which promote diversion. Diversion allows for a whopping 35% of materials that end up at the Winnipeg depot to be recycled, composted or repurposed.

Why is this important?

When material cannot, or is not, diverted from the landfill, it is deposited in huge piles and buried beneath layers of clean fill. Because landfills are not designed to allow the refuse to decompose in these piles, much of our garbage will simply never decompose. So these big piles of waste sit underground. Forever. But the good news is, we have the power to focus on making sure less garbage ends up at the landfill in the first place.


What are we doing?

Last month, we launched our new, enhanced waste management system here at FortWhyte Alive. While we've been composting and recycling for many years, we were excited to unveil our organics bins for public use as part of our commitment to updating our operations and and being a living, working example of sustainable living in action.

We were inspired by our experience — seeing, learning, and experiencing really does drive a lesson home. And that is exactly what we do at FortWhyte Alive. We connect people with nature to remind them of our intrinsic connection to the earth and inspire them to make small changes in their own every day lives.

What can you do?

First, the new 4R diversion system is free and easy to use. But roughly 40% of the waste in our landfill is organic — that means that apple cores, orange peels and leaf litter are still ending up in the landfill. The next time you think that small actions like composting don't make an impact, think again.

Think before you throw out. Swap your stuff. Save your vegetable scraps. Start that Pinterest board. Call that friend who knows how. Seek out local resources. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or pretty. You just have to start.

The surprising truth about garbage in Winnipeg?

Change is happening, and our everyday actions can and do make a difference.