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FAQs

What isn't recyclable in Manitoba?

Not everything can be recycled. Here is a list of items that cannot be recycled that people commonly ask about:

  • Aluminum foil, foil pie plates or foil food containers
  • Car seats
  • Cassette tapes
  • CDs
  • Christmas lights
  • Coffee makers
  • Coffee pods (single-serve)
  • Disposable coffee cups
  • Foam packaging of any kind (Styrofoam)
  • Food, drink or other pouch packaging
  • Paper towels, tissues or napkins
  • Portable fans and heaters
  • Toys
  • UPS (uninterrupted power supply) units
  • Vacuums
  • VHS tapes
  • Wax or foil coated paper
  • Wrapping paper with foil
How do I dispose of a thermostat that has mercury in it?

If you’re like most responsible Canadians, you probably recycle your paper and compost your kitchen scraps. But when it comes to disposing of your electronic or mechanical mercury-based thermostat, chances are you’re tempted to chuck it out with the rest of the regular garbage. In fact, you may not even realize that the mechanical thermostat hanging on your wall even has mercury. In all likelihood it does, and that mercury will do untold damage to the environment. So stop and consider the alternative: recycle your old thermostat through a dedicated program called the Thermostat Recovery Program (TRP).

You can find a drop-off location here.

It’s safe to say that nobody wants mercury contaminating our landfills, lakes, or forests. With TRP, you can do your bit to make sure it doesn’t end up there; as well as ensuring the other thermostat components such as the plastics and metals are recycled responsibly. 

Is there a charge to recycle oil or antifreeze products?

There is no charge to recycle used oil and antifreeze products.

Where can I take my used oil, antifreeze, filters or containers?

In Winnipeg, you can take your used oil and antifreeze products to any Canadian Tire Store in Winnipeg (except Garden City CT).

In rural Manitoba, you can take your used oil products to a number of EcoCentre’s across the province. The locations of all EcoCentres can be found at website at www.usedoilrecycling.com.

How is the electronics recycling program funded?

An Environmental Handling Fee (EHF) will be applied to the sale of new electronics products regulated in Manitoba. All program revenue is used for the administration, collection, transportation and responsible recycling of unwanted electronics. For more information, visit the Electronic Products Recycling Association

What do I do with electronics that I don't want anymore?

The EPRA Manitoba Program operates on a return to depot model and is designed to manage unwanted electronic products that have exhausted their reuse potential. If your electronic items are not at the end of their useful life, you are encouraged to donate them to family members, friends or local charities. Unwanted electronics must be dropped off at any authorized EPRA Collection Depot at no charge. To locate your closest return depot click here to enter your postal code.

 

Why can’t I put plastic bags in my blue box?

Plastic bags in Manitoba are recyclable, just not in your blue bin. The recycling process is quite complex and when plastic bags get tangled in the equipment they cause huge delays. In large facilities, this can be a big problem. You can, however, recycle your plastic bags in bins are located in every major grocery store and major retailer.

Drop-off locations in Manitoba can be found at: http://simplyrecycle.ca/plastic-bags/return-your-plastic-bags-here/

Why can’t I put aluminum plates and foil in my recycling bin?

Aluminum foil and plates are not accepted in the residential recycling program in Manitoba. The problem with aluminum foil and plates is that they cannot be mixed with aluminum cans due to their melting point. Cans melt at a much higher temperature which causes the foil and plates to turn to ashes in the smelter.

Your municipality and local processor determine the collection and recycling of aluminum foil. Processors need a huge amount of space to store enough aluminum foil to make just one bale. Remember, recyclables need to be collected, stored and processed at a reasonable cost for your community.

What happens to glass that is recycled in Manitoba?

Glass is a unique product in Manitoba. Due to a variety of factors and its high cost to transport, glass is processed locally and reused right here at home. In most cases, the glass is crushed at the local landfill and used for a variety of different things. In Winnipeg, glass jars and bottles are taken to the Brady Road Landfill site, where they’re crushed to make road base. The facility processes more than 5,000 tonnes of glass each year, which helps reduce the city’s costs for aggregate. In the end, it is being recycled and reused right here in the province.

How do I get a Recycle Everywhere bin?

Recycle Everywhere provides beverage container recycling bins to public spaces across Manitoba free of charge. This includes communities, schools, businesses, provincial parks, community centres, events and more. To request Recycle Everywhere bins for your location simply visit RecycleEverywhere.ca/request-bins. For more information or any questions on the program please contact info@recycleeverywhere.ca or call 204-942-2284.

Why don't we have a deposit system in Manitoba?

In 2008, the Manitoba Government embraced the concept of a comprehensive recycling system that would include a broad range of material – not only beverage containers. This ensured that the recycling system would be convenient for everyone, as well as efficient and cost-effective for municipalities, consumers and the operators of the Blue Box system. Deposit systems result in higher costs to consumers, a larger environmental impact and are inconvenient for residents. The CBCRA system combines the convenience of a multi-material system with the performance of a deposit system at a much lower overall cost to consumers. This system is making Manitoba a leader in recycling across the country. 

What is a Container Recycling Fee (CRF)?

The Container Recycling Fee (CRF) is a fee charged to producers for each non-alcoholic, non-dairy beverage container they sell in Manitoba. A portion of this fee pays for beverage containers collected within residential recycling systems; the rest funds CBCRA’s away-from-home recycling programs. We are aware that most of the participating beverage producers are passing this fee on to retailers who are in turn passing it on to consumers.

Can I put used needles in the trash?

Used sharps should be returned to your local, registered pharmacy through the Sharps Collection Program to ensure safe disposal. Collected used sharps in an approved yellow  container (1.4L or 4.5L), which is available – free of charge – through your local pharmacist. For more information about the Sharps Collection Program, please visit www.healthsteward.ca.  

Which provinces offer Sharps Collection?

Sharps Collection is presently being offered in Ontario and Prince Edward Island. Although the programs are unavailable in some provinces, there are other stewardship organizations who can assist in the proper disposal of unused, expired, and sharps products. Please visit www.healthsteward.ca to find out more.  

Which provinces offer medication returns ?

Currently, four provinces offer medication returns: British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario. Phone your local drugstore or pharmacy to confirm its participating in the Medications Return Program, or go to www.healthsteward.ca and use the Return Location finder to locate to closest participating pharmacy to you. 

What do I with medications that I don't want to keep any more?

You should return all unused and expired medications to your local, registered pharmacy, not to your doctor. Phone your local drugstore or pharmacy to confirm its participating in the Medications Return Program, or go to www.healthsteward.ca and use the Return Location finder to locate to closest participating pharmacy to you. 

Do NOT flush unwanted medications down the toilet, pour them down the sink or throw the in the trash!

Studies have shown that minute traces of medications get into our waterways from improper disposal. This has harmful effects on the environment because sewage systems are not equipped to process drugs. In homes that use septic systems, drugs can leach into the local water table. This means that eventually they come out in a nearby lake, or stream, or – even worse – your own property, where pets, livestock, or wildlife can be directly impacted.

Similarly, throwing unused and expired medications in the garbage leaves them accessible for children and pets to find. Moreover, medications thrown in the trash will eventually wind up in a landfill with the potential to leach. Many municipal or regional districts have local household waste facilities where you can safely drop your medications off for disposal.

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