New waste system hopes to improve city’s record on recycling
Winnipeg doesn’t have a way to recycle them.
The vast majority of materials recovered from blue boxes are sold to brokers and processing plants that purchase the goods to turn them into something else, such as packaging or drink trays. Plastic bags don’t have a buyer, since they are complicated to sort and can be easily “contaminated” by everything from hidden receipts to old sandwiches.
Workers at Emterra’s material recovery facility routinely have to cut out plastic bags that become wound around the machinery. A heap of discarded bags sits in a corner of the facility, bound for the landfill. Plastic bags are among the four per cent of items Winnipeg does not Louboutin recycle that end up in the city’s landfill.
City officials suggest resid Louboutin ents take unwanted plastic bags to retail outlets that collect them.
WHAT ELSE CAN’T I PUT IN THE BLUE BOX/RECYCLING CART?
Check the lid of your new recycling cart to see what you can and can’t recycle.
Make sure to place items loosely in the box, and do not lump certain materials inside other ones; for example, putting empty cans back inside a cardboard box. This makes it difficult for machines and workers to sort, and items placed in plastic bags such as aluminum cans could be sent to the landfill. at Winnipeg’s recycling facility, and a truck dumps a heap of discarded material on what’s been dubbed the “tipping floor.”
It’s one of about 40 truckloads to be delivered today, and with a mountain of more than 190 metric tonnes of broken cardboard, newspaper, soda cans and plastic strewn on the ground, it’s hard to imagine Winnipeg has some of the worst recycling rates in Canada.
Only about 15 per cent of city trash is diverted away from the landfill. That pales in comparison with Toronto and Halifax, which recycle about 60 per cent of all waste.
Winnipeg officials hope that’s about to change.
Last week, crews started to deliver Winnipeg’s first r Louboutin ecycling carts to neighbourhoods in the northwestern part of the city. Over the next three months, Winnipeg will replace homeowners’ blue boxes and garbage cans with automated garbage and recycling carts in an effort to get residents to recycle more and throw out less. It’s part of the waste overhaul approved by city council, and one major goal is to boost recycling.
The 240 litre recycling carts hold the equivalent of roughly four blue boxes. That means in a short period of time, the Henry Avenue plant will be collecting, shipping and selling about 15 per cent more tightly packed bales of newsprint, cans and mixed plastic that will be turned into new products in processing plants as far away as China.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is,” said Randy Park, city supervisor of waste diversion. “The changes we’re doing to our collection, that’s going to drive (up) the incoming amount of tonnage; that’s going to really help everybody at their home recycle more.”
“When we recycle more, we’re going to separate more out, and we’re going to sell more.”
When Winnipeg first launched its curbside residential recycling program in 1995, the onus was on residents to separate and sort their discarded containers. Plastic containers went in the box, and all paper materials needed to be placed inside a separate bag.
Today, everything Winnipeggers throw in their blue box lands in one big pile and is sorted by machine and by hand.
One of the biggest misconceptions is recyclables get thrown out. In fact, Park said, about 96 per cent of the recyclables Winnipeggers put in their blue boxes are sold and turned into other products.
The core area material recovery facility is operated by Emterra, which has a contract to collect, sort and sell all Winnipeg recyclables.
Materials travel up a fast moving conveyor belt where spinning star screens which resemble throwing stars toss old cardboard out of the mix and into a separate pile on the floor. Workers pluck out any plastic remnants before it is squished into a cardboard cube by a baler. Two other spinning star screens separate higher quality paper and newsprint.
An assembly line of people picks out any bits of plastic containers as they whiz by on a conveyor belt.
Plastic milk jugs and pop bottles are blown into separate silos, where they are stored before they are crushed and crunched into easy to transport cubes. Paul, Minn., where it will be remade into something such as a drink tray.
Park said the facility ships the products as soon as it can about 130 bales a day of tightly packed recyclables or the equivalent of about six semi trailer loads because there is little room to store them.
Glass bottles are crushed and turned into road aggregate. Winnipeg does not sell or ship crushed glass, Park said, since there is no one interested in buying it. However, Park said that could change as a buyer from Minnesota recently approached the city to inquire about the sale of recycled glass.
In total, city data show Winnipeg sold $5.1 million worth of recyclable commodities last year, up from Louboutin $2.9 million the previous year. The profits are funnelled back into the city’s recycling program.
“I think a lot of people think it goes to the landfill. There’s a lot of cynicism about the recycling program, and people need to realize it does help the environment significantly,” said Green Action Centre spokesman Josh Brandon.