Residential Food Waste Collection Pilot Project

Published 09:19 - 07/02/2020 Updated 10:08 - 11/05/2020

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Introduction

The City of Winnipeg (City) began a two-year Residential Food Waste Collection Pilot Project in October 2020. During the pilot, the City is collecting food waste from homes in several areas of Winnipeg. The pilot will divert food waste from the landfill and turn it into compost at the Brady Road Resource Management Facility. The pilot will help us determine how to collect food waste from all homes in Winnipeg and if residents feel it is valuable.

Waste diversion is when our garbage goes somewhere other than the landfill. Diverting waste from the landfill reduces the impact of solid

Introduction

The City of Winnipeg (City) began a two-year Residential Food Waste Collection Pilot Project in October 2020. During the pilot, the City is collecting food waste from homes in several areas of Winnipeg. The pilot will divert food waste from the landfill and turn it into compost at the Brady Road Resource Management Facility. The pilot will help us determine how to collect food waste from all homes in Winnipeg and if residents feel it is valuable.

Waste diversion is when our garbage goes somewhere other than the landfill. Diverting waste from the landfill reduces the impact of solid waste on the environment. Food waste (like fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, and bones) is a valuable resource because it can become compost.


Background

The City’s waste diversion rate is currently around 30 percent. A city-wide residential food waste program is the only way Winnipeg can significantly increase its waste diversion rate.

A 50 percent waste diversion goal was set in 2011 in the City's the Garbage and Recycling Master Plan; however, that goal was deferred pending the completion of a pilot project and ten-year financial plan.

In 2019, Council directed the Public Service to implement a pilot project. After its completion in fall 2022, the Public Service will assess the pilot project and provide a report to Council with its findings. Council will then make a decision on whether to move forward with a city-wide residential food waste collection program.


How does the pilot project work?

Residential food waste collection for pilot households starts the first week of October, on the same day that recycling and garbage carts are picked up.

Pilot households will use their kitchen pail to collect day-to-day food waste in their home. We recommend that residents find a place that’s convenient to store it, like on the kitchen counter or under the sink.

To help keep the kitchen pail clean, you can use BPI-certified compostable plastic bags, paper bags or newspaper to line it.

When convenient, empty the kitchen pail into the green cart provided. We recommend that residents store green carts in their garage or a shady spot in their yard.

On their regular collection day, participating households should:

  • Place carts out by 7 a.m.
  • Space carts at least one arm’s length (one metre) from each other and other objects.
  • Bring carts back onto private property as soon as possible after collection.

What goes in the green cartFor a more detailed list of what is accepted and is not accepted in the residential food waste collection pilot project, please view the user guide or watch the video.


Keeping things clean

Keeping green carts and kitchen pails clean is the easiest way to reduce odours. To learn how, watch the video or follow the tips below:

  • Line the kitchen pail with a BPI-certified compostable plastic bags, paper bag or newspaper.
  • Line the bottom of the green cart with old newspapers, flyers or cardboard. This also helps to keep food waste from freezing to the bottom in the winter.
  • Place the green cart out for collection every week, even when it’s not full.
  • Store the green cart away from the hot sun, when possible.
  • Occasionally rinse the kitchen pail and green cart with warm water and soap or vinegar.

Public Engagement

It is important to develop a program that best suits the residents of Winnipeg. Feedback from pilot households about their experience will be used to guide the City, should a decision be made to implement a city-wide program.

A three-phase public engagement program will gather input that will be used to improve the implementation and delivery of the pilot project.

  • Phase 1 will provide baseline information for the pilot project and will be collected prior to the start of the pilot project. This includes a city-wide scientific survey and pilot resident survey.
  • Phase 2 will enable participants to provide feedback early in the pilot project on initial experiences and the educational handouts provided by the City. This includes a pilot resident survey and open houses.
  • Phase 3 will enable participants to provide feedback towards the end of the two-year pilot project and ask households to reflect on their experiences over the course of the pilot project. This includes a city-wide scientific survey and pilot resident survey.

The City will also be engaging various stakeholder groups, including residents that are not part of the pilot project, to gain insight into how a food waste collection program could best address the needs of all Winnipeggers. Watch for opportunities coming in November 2020.

  • May 7, 2021

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    The City will be delivering another sample of compostable liner bags to households in fall 2021 for year two of the pilot project. The sample liner bags that households received at the start of the pilot project were expected to last approximately one year, based on an average use of two bags per week. We understand that households have diverse requirements and will use liner bags at different rates. If you run out of liner bags, they can be purchased at most major grocery stores, home and garden centres, and online retailers. Liner bags must be certified BPI compostable. Alternatively, you can line your kitchen pail with a paper bag, newspaper, or simply use it without a liner.

  • March 1, 2021

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    Thank you to all who participated in Phase 2 public engagement during winter 2020. Phase 2 public engagement included a pilot resident survey and online webinars. The Phase 2 Public Engagement Summary is now available and provides an overview of the feedback collected for the project. Please visit the Document Library to view the Phase 2 Public Engagement Summary.

    The final phase of public engagement will enable participants to provide feedback at the end of the pilot project on experiences, new issues, and changes in attitudes toward the pilot. Phase 3 is anticipated to begin in summer 2022.

  • December 3, 2020

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    Thank you to all who participated in Phase 1 public engagement during summer 2020. Phase 1 public engagement included a city-wide scientific survey and a pilot participant survey. The Phase 1 Public Engagement Summary is now available and provides an overview of the feedback collected for the project. Please visit the Document Library to view the Phase 1 Public Engagement Summary.

  • November 26, 2020

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    Thank you to all who attended a Residential Food Waste Collection Pilot Project webinar on November 24 and 25, 2020. If you were unable to attend, we encourage you to view the presentation slides in the Document Library.

  • November 9, 2020

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    Curbside collection of residential food waste began on October 5, 2020 and has been occurring for approximately one month.

    We are now inviting participants to join us in one of four webinars and share their feedback on their initial experiences and the materials included in the welcome package:


    The webinars are tailored to pilot participants but are open to any interested Winnipeggers. To register for a webinar, please select your preferred date and time above or call 204-453-2353 ext 4055. Instructions will be sent following registration.

    *In-person events were originally planned. Winnipeg has been elevated to Critical (red) in the Province of Manitoba's Pandemic Response System. In response, the City cancelled in-person public engagement events.

  • September 14, 2020

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    In the coming weeks, the City of Winnipeg’s residential food waste collection pilot project will begin for approximately 4,000 households across Winnipeg.

    Welcome packages are being delivered this week to those homes that have been selected for the residential food waste collection pilot project. The welcome package includes:

    Only those homes that received the welcome package can participate in the pilot project. Participation in the pilot project is completely voluntary.

    The City will conduct a few waste audits over the course of the pilot project to see how pilot households are using the program and identify potential issues. The City will also be seeking feedback from pilot households through engagement activities.

  • August 17, 2020

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    Notification letters have been sent out, by mail, to homes that have been selected to participate in the Residential Food Waste Collection Pilot Project.

    Approximately 4,000 homes from the following five neighbourhoods have been selected to participate:

    • Daniel McIntyre
    • Inkster Gardens
    • Linden Woods/Linden Ridge
    • Mission Gardens
    • St. George

    Only those homes that received the letters can participate in the pilot project. Participation in the pilot project is completely voluntary.

    In September, a welcome package will be delivered to those homes that received the letters. The package includes:

    • a 120-litre green cart
    • a seven-litre kitchen pail to collect day-to-day food waste in your home
    • a sample of compostable kitchen pail liner bags
    • participation instructions, including a list of accepted materials

    Food waste collection will begin the week of October 5, 2020 and continue through September 2022. Green carts should be placed out weekly, on the same day as recycling and garbage.

    We will conduct a few waste audits over the course of the pilot project to see how pilot households are using the program and identify potential issues. We will also be seeking feedback from pilot households through engagement activities.

  • July 2, 2020

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    City Council is currently reviewing an update on the development and implementation of the pilot project.

    Approximately 4,000 homes from the following five neighbourhoods will be selected to participate:

    • Daniel McIntyre
    • Inkster Gardens
    • Linden Woods/Linden Ridge
    • Mission Gardens
    • St. George

    These neighbourhoods were selected because they reflect the diversity of Winnipeggers and types of homes, and how their waste is collected. Only certain households within these areas will have the opportunity to participate in the pilot. In August 2020, selected households will be notified by letter that they have been selected. Details on how the pilot project will be rolled out and more information on residential food waste collection will be available later this summer.

    Public engagement opportunities are planned to start in fall 2020. The public engagement during the pilot project will be used to inform recommendations towards a citywide program. Opportunities include:

    • Understanding support, satisfaction, and participation for a potential city-wide program.
    • Studying the effectiveness of collection containers, small kitchen pails/liners, promotion and education material, and other supports.
    • Identifying other barriers and challenges.

    Please subscribe for project updates to stay informed.