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$8.7 million funding in Manitoba to help support circular economy for organics and other materials

A Doosan wheel loader moving compost
Close to $900,000 in compost support payments are being disseminated in Manitoba to participating compost facilities. 

The Manitoba government is providing $8.7 million to municipalities, companies and organizations for waste reduction and recycling support (WRARS), for organics and other materials, according to an announcement from Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard.

"This financial support from our government helps keep organic waste out of Manitoba landfills through composting initiatives that play a key role in our recycling and waste diversion programming," said Guillemard. "By reducing organic waste in landfills, we prolong their lifespans, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and produce a valuable soil amendment that contributes to the circular economy."

The funding, announced by the minister at the Overton Environmental Enterprises Inc. compost facility in Portage la Prairie, includes:

- $50,000 to increase education and communication with stakeholders around recycling priorities;

- $6,977,600 to support recycling rebates in municipalities and Indigenous and northern communities that operate WRARS-registered landfills and/or have a contract with a WRARS registered landfill for disposal of municipal solid waste;

- $800,000 to support residential hazardous waste management; and

- $894,000 in Manitoba compost support payments to participating compost facilities. 

The Department of Conservation and Climate's Manitoba compost support payments fund private and public compost facilities that produce large volumes of high-quality compost.

"The program is unique in Canada for its focus on producing really good compost," commented Susan Antler, executive director, Compost Council of Canada. "High-quality compost feeds the soil, which in turn boosts soil health, supports plant vitality and nutritional value, and stores carbon and increased moisture. Manitoba's program goes well beyond waste management by encouraging and supporting the production of a high-value product that can help fight climate change."

Ten facilities registered in the compost program processed more than 80,000 tonnes of organic waste in 2020. This is the equivalent of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 93,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

"Organic waste comprises up to 40 per cent of the material disposed of in landfills and represents the largest opportunity to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from waste going to landfills," said Guillemard. "This year, we are pleased to see the program reach a new high in waste diversion with the establishment of Overton Environmental's compost facility in Portage la Prairie."

Overton Environmental opened its compost facility in April 2020 and has a unique partnership with a J.R. Simplot potato processing plant directly across the road.

"Support payments from the province help us with some of our biggest challenges," said Dale Overton, chief executive officer, Overton Environmental. "As a small company, we took a huge risk in establishing a large compost facility. We are thrilled to be having early success with our operation and knowing we have support from the province makes a huge difference."

Overton Environmental has processed an estimated 120,000 tonnes of organic waste from the Simplot plant and other sources over the past 17 months.

This latest WRARS funding supports Manitoba's commitment to modernize its waste diversion and recycling framework and to set higher targets.

"We thank Manitoba's compost facilities for their impressive efforts and all Manitobans working to keep waste out of landfills," said Guillemard.

More information on Manitoba's recycling and waste diversion programming is available on the Conservation and Climate website.

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