A pilot project to find new ways to recycle parts from old child car seats is among a number of waste diversion projects receiving provincial government funding worth a total of $10 million.
The bulk of that money — $7 million — is continued support for municipal blue box programs.
Funding will also go to a project that aims to safely divert hazardous materials from northern landfills, and support public and private compost facilities.
“Manitobans are spending more time at home [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] and, in some cases, that means an increase in waste and recyclables,” Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard said at the announcement at the Mother Earth Recycling facility on Main Street.
Mother Earth Recycling, an Indigenous-owned-and-operated social enterprise that also provides training and employment opportunities to community members, is getting $50,000 to launch a pilot project to find ways to recycle child car seats.
The research will build upon the company’s work with mattresses, 96 per cent of which can be recycled, said Kevin Chief, director of the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc., a shareholder in Mother Earth Recycling.
“We’re literally turning waste into resources,” he said.
“Not only are we able to recycle these mattresses, but then it creates training and an incredible amount of jobs. And we actually think there’s a greater potential in car seats and other furniture.”
Due to safety regulations, car seats have strict expiry dates and cannot be reused, Guillemard said.
“If you get into a small fender-bender, you cannot use those car seats … so you can imagine how many car seats are accumulating,” she said.
Some of the provincial funding will go to efforts to immediately steer waste away from landfills.
The Product Care Association is getting $420,000 to collect and dispose of stockpiled household hazardous waste like spray-foam containers and propane tanks, with a focus on northern landfills, the province said in a news release.
The province is also giving $620,000 in compost support payments to private and public compost facilities.
Other projects aim to find new ways to expand the market for diverted waste.
The Compost Council of Canada is getting $40,000 to develop new communication tools to promote the compost market in Manitoba.
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