What is waste diversion?

    Waste diversion means keeping waste out of the landfill by recycling, reducing, reusing, composting and other activities.

    What is a Multi-Family Dwelling (MFD)?

    MFDs are defined as properties having 8 or more units. These include many apartment and condominium buildings. As of 2021, there were approximately 114,000 MFD units in Winnipeg across approximately 2,300 properties.  In 2021, they generated approximately 56,000 tonnes of garbage and approximately 9,000 tonnes of recycling. 

    Geographically, MFD properties are located throughout Winnipeg, with concentrations in the city centre, and along major corridors.

    Why are we doing a Winnipeg Recycling Strategy for Apartments and Condos?

    We need to improve the waste diversion rate within MFD properties. The diversion rate within the MFD sector is approximately half (approximately 14 percent) of what Winnipeg’s rate is (approximately 30 percent).

    In 2013, the number of new MFD builds began exceeding the number of single-family dwelling (SFD) builds. It is expected that by 2023 there will be twice as many new MFD builds compared to SFD, and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

    Why do we need to improve recycling from MFD?

    Improving recycling from multi-family properties is an important part of achieving the waste diversion goals and directions established by Council as part of the Comprehensive Integrated Waste Management Strategy in 2011.

    Why are there lower waste diversion rates in MFD compared to SFD?

    Increasing waste diversion in MFD requires overcoming a number of obstacles that aren’t as big of an issue for the SFD sector. These include challenges to enforcing recycling programs and illegal dumping (waste is disposed with anonymity); more resources are required to ensure the effectiveness of education programs (more turnover in rental properties, or populations that face language barriers); and, added barriers relating to accessibility of recycling programs (distance to on-site recycling disposal, size/height of large recycling bins located outside of buildings).

    Is there a MFD fee being implemented? How will this affect the proposed strategy?

    Currently, the Waste Diversion Fee only applies to SFD dwellings. The MFD sector receives recycling and waste diversion services that are almost identical to SFD (with exception of yard waste collection), but does not contribute financially towards them. In 2021, the Public Service recommended the introduction of a Multi-family Waste Diversion Fee that would fund the cost of diversion programs for this sector. The fee proposed is $44 per year, effective January 1, 2023. The City’s Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment did not concur with the recommendation. The proposed fee will be part of a larger discussion when the City prepares its next budget.

    How does the City currently fund garbage and recycling services?

    Garbage collection and disposal are supported by property taxes, but recycling and waste diversion activities are supported through a variety of funding sources, including: Provincial grants, funding from product stewards (e.g. Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba), the sale of recyclable material, and the Waste Diversion Fee.

    Will this proposed strategy include organics diversion?

    The main objective is to look at recycling in MFD properties. However, if Council approves a food waste composting program in the future, the implementation for MFD properties will be considered in this proposed strategy.

    How will this address illegal dumping?

    This study will look at best practices in other cities and the public engagement process will work with residents and property managers to develop strategies to address illegal dumping.

    I am a tenant/landlord, how will this affect me?

    We will be consulting with both tenants and landlords on developing the Winnipeg Recycling Strategy for Apartments and Condos to recommend next steps for Council’s consideration.

    Will the City consider this specific strategy to improve recycling for multi-family properties?

    Specific tools for encouraging waste diversion will be studied and explored as the proposed strategy is being developed.