March 2, 2019 9:11 am
Updated: March 2, 2019 9:38 am

Beds to biosolids, Winnipeg is innovating recycling, says city councillor

The City of Winnipeg is coming up with innovative ways to recycle, says a councillor.

Global News / File

Before 2018, Winnipeg’s recycling – specifically old newspapers and mixed paper collected in the city’s recycling programs – was exported and sold to China.

Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) told 680 CJOB that decontamination standards for China recently became so strict that many cities, including Winnipeg, had to look elsewhere when it came to selling recyclable material.

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READ MORE: Winnipeggers try to ‘recycle’ 5,500 used, dirty diapers every week

Gilroy said Winnipeg’s recyclables are now going to different markets in both Asia and North America, and that the city has some innovative plans for recycling going forward.

“We’re recycling as much as we can, absolutely,” said Gilroy, chair of Winnipeg’s committee for water and waste, riverbank management and the environment.

“I don’t think we’re seeing the type of (problems) some other cities are talking about.

“We’re able to sell our products and we’re able to deal with the standards that are set for decontamination.”

Coun. Cindy Gilroy

City of Winnipeg

Gilroy said the city’s new mattress recycling project, in collaboration with the Indigenous-led Mother Earth Recycling group, is one of the city’s high-profile innovations, but there are also projects underway that the public may not be aware of.

READ MORE: Winnipeg going to the mattresses with new recycling program

“We’re composting our biosolids, so we’re taking our waste and we’re actually composting it at Brady Landfill,” she said.

“The biosolids that we use are washroom waste, and basically, it’s being recycled.”

Gilroy said the city is also working with Manitoba Hydro on developing ways to reuse energy from methane gas.

READ MORE: The biggest recycling mistakes Canadians continue to make

There’s more to recycling, she said, than simply what goes in your blue bin.

“If you go on the water and waste website, there’s a really good tutorial on what we do accept,” she said.

“There’s even some stuff you can’t put in your blue bin that you can take to one of our depots. It’s a good thing to go on there and check what’s acceptable.”

WATCH: How to recycle your electronics

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