Impact of the Manitoba Product Stewardship Program on residential solid waste recycling in four municipalities of the South-Central Recycling Region of Manitoba (1992-2000)

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Okwumabua, Dieluwa Nat
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Under the Manitoba Round Table's Strategy for Solid Waste Minimization and Management, a central obligation of the provincial government is to effectively reinforce waste minimization activities, such as recycling, and to ensure equitable opportunities and access to programs for program participants. Recycling is a system that includes a circuit of collection, processing, manufacture and consumption that diverts raw materials from the residential waste stream to industries for the manufacturing of new raw materials and products. Such activities provide benefits to both urban centres and rural municipalities in Manitoba and conserve resources. The Province of Manitoba, in proclaiming its Waste Reduction and Prevention (WRAP) Act in August 1990, enabled the Province to assign responsibilities for the stewardship of products and materials that have the potential to become waste. Under this Act, the government of Manitoba established the Manitoba Product Stewardship Corporation (MPSC) in January 1995 to provide financial support for household recycling services in all communities of the province. The establishment of this program was intended to encourage efficient collection, processing, and marketing of recyclable commodities generated in the province. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of Manitoba Product Stewardship Program (MPSP) on Residential Solid Waste Recycling in four Municipalities of the South-central Recycling Region of Manitoba since the inception of MPSP in 1995. The study results show that some recycling programs existed and were well established before the inception of MPSP, and that MPSP has the highest positive impact on a program such as that of Portage la Prairie that was established after the inception of MPSP. The Town of Winkler, the R.M. of Grey and the R.M. of Roland, where programs were already well established before MPSP, saw moderate positive net changes. Some noticeable improvements were observed in recycling promotion and education, as well as in the infrastructure of the four communities. Even though MPSP did not directly pay for the infrastructure, its support payment motivated more collection and hence the need for and support of the infrastructure. MPSP support payments are the major positive net change in all sampled communities. The support payment is a steady source of revenue that helps communities with existing programs keep their programs in place and remove recycling costs from their municipal budgets. The most significant net change and benefit occurred in the City of Portage la Prairie where a recycling program did not exist before the inception of MPSP.