Manitobans are Canada's Worst Recyclers

Landfill photo

Green in Canada: Theory vs. Practice
There is often a disconnect between Canadians' self-image and the reality. We would like to believe we're leaders on the effort to combat global warming, yet the two main political parties, when in power, haven't done much in the past 10 years to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We're also near the top of the list for energy use and trash generate per capita, and speaking of trash, it seems like the province of Manitoba is not even moving in the right direction.
CANADA Manitoba image

Trash Piling Up Faster
Most Canadian provinces are recycling about 25% of their trash (a number that could be much high, especially if composting was more widespread), but in 2002 Manitoba recycled 20%. Now the latest numbers for 2006 are disappointing: 13% send to recycling centers.

"At the same time, according to Statistics Canada, the province has seen the second-highest increase in trash in Canada and has the worst recycling rate in the country."

Manitobans are throwing away 100,000 tonnes [for a total of about 1 million tonnes] more now than they were in 2002, according to the figures from the province. They're also tossing out more waste per capita than the national average.

While Nova Scotia diverts 40 per cent of its waste and 99 per cent of households recycle, Manitoba only diverts 13 per cent of trash and is dead-last for recycling at 88 per cent, says Statistics Canada.

What reason is given for that? Inexpensive landfills. Sad...

Here's a Potential Solution
Come on politician, show a little ingenuity. I'm sure that by taxing trash and diverting that money to reduce other less constructive taxes (payroll, whatever) you could both have a greener and more prosperous province. And this isn't just a good idea for Manitoba; All governments should look at ways to raise money by taxing "bads" instead of "goods" so that incentives are aligned with greener outcomes.

Of course, individuals must play their parts, but with the right incentives, even those who don't care about the problem will tend to take the right decisions...

Via Globe and Mail
First photo: Flickr, CC License
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