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Coronavirus: Social distancing means massive lineups at Winnipeg landfills, says city

City of Winnipeg recycling and garbage bins.
City of Winnipeg recycling and garbage bins. Christian Aumell / CJOB / File
Warm weather and a bit of extra time due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant lots of Winnipeggers were tackling long-overdue projects over the weekend — leading to massive lineups at city-run landfills and recycling facilities.
City of Winnipeg solid waste manager Michael Gordichuk told 680 CJOB on Monday that social distancing measures were a big reason behind the lines, especially at the Brady Road site, which houses a landfill and recycling depot.
“It’s not typical — I think it’s a combination of us having to make sure we’re practicing social distancing and enforcing certain restrictions with regard to how many people we allow into the facility at one at a time,” he said.

READ MORE: Are you contaminating Winnipeg’s recycling without knowing?

 
“The unique thing about (the) Brady (Road landfill) is that you have the 4-R depot and you have the landfill. At the 4-R depot, we’re limiting it to one car per bin at a time, and that’s not normal.
Despite the long waits this weekend, he said there weren’t any complaints, and Winnipeggers seemed to be taking the unusual situation in stride.
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Gordichuk said the city has seen an overall increase in waste during the pandemic, due in large part to lifestyle changes caused by the novel coronavirus crisis.

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“A lot of (the waste increase) has to do with the amount of time people are spending at home — they’re eating at home more — so we’re seeing an increase in that respect,” he said.
Recycling art contest for Manitoba kids and teens
Recycling art contest for Manitoba kids and teens
“On the recycling side, we’re seeing more people doing those home clean-ups that they’ve been putting off.”
When it comes to moving Winnipeg’s recycling to market, Gordichuk said it’s been easy so far.
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“The markets are actually fairly strong for the recycled material that we’re producing and the good news is that everything is being shipped within North America, so it’s actually surprisingly been very well for us.”