Winnipeg, MB — Party leader James Beddome and Wolseley candidate David Nickarz announced the Greens’ plans for moving to zero waste in Manitoba, including cost-sharing municipal composting programs, banning single-use plastics, and enhancing producer responsibility for waste diversion.

“What is urgently needed is a bold vision supported by practical measures that moves Manitoba to a zero waste situation as quickly as possible,” said Beddome.  “We want to introduce measures to stem the production of garbage through incentives and disincentives, including bans and enhanced producer responsibility.”

Party Leader James Beddome (right) announces zero waste strategy, alongside Wolseley candidate David Nickarz (center) and Green Party of Quebec leader Alex Tyrrell.

Currently, only 26% of residential and 13% of commercial waste is diverted in Manitoba. Beddome said that the province of Manitoba should do much more to tackle local waste management issues.

“Manitoba has some product-specific programs for diverting waste, but lacks an overarching vision and firm, meaningful goals,” said Beddome. “The incentives to households and businesses for diverting waste from landfills are inadequate, and for many items diverted from the landfill there is lack of local opportunities for recycling them into reusable products.”

Part of the Greens’ plan involves developing a province-wide organics diversion program for both residential and commercial sectors, which would include providing funding for municipal and community composting programs across the province. In particular, Greens would cost-share the development of a compost facility in Winnipeg, contributing one-third of the estimated $120 million it would cost to build.

“The proper diversion and composting of organic waste will significantly reduce the 15 per cent of Winnipeg emissions that arise from waste disposal,” said Wolseley candidate David Nickarz.

The Greens plan also includes other measures such as banning single-use plastics and introducing enhanced producer responsibility measures.

“Serious and thoughtful waste reduction programs are good for all of us in so many ways,” 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.”