We have improved recovery across the province and increased accessibility for Manitobans to recycle. To do this, we raised awareness, collaborated with our partners and educated the public. Everything we do is to reach our target, and we’re proud of this year’s accomplishments.
As I look back on nearly a decade of steadfast dedication from the CBCRA board and staff, I find it remarkable that a relatively small group of people has had such an impact on beverage container recycling in Manitoba. Their ingenuity, resourcefulness and devotion has cultivated a reliable foundation for beverage container recovery in Manitoba and beyond. With every new challenge, the board and staff have proven there is nothing we cannot overcome together.
Across the province, Manitobans are asking for better access to recycling programs and every year we develop opportunities in partnership with communities and business partners. In 2018, CBCRA achieved breakthrough expansion into northern communities providing new bin infrastructure, educational materials and collection systems. With every initiative we spearhead, we strengthen our impact and move one step closer to our target.
For nearly 23 years, every recyclable beverage container in Manitoba had the same, uniform two-cent Container Recycling Fee (CRF) applied. Much has changed since then, including new types and sizes of containers, and the number sold has steadily increased. To reflect the cost of collection and recycling for specific beverage container types more fairly, the board of CBCRA reviewed and approved an adjustment to the CRF for 2019. Although it may only be pennies on a receipt, CBCRA and Recycle Everywhere are completely funded by the CRF and it’s our responsibility to ensure a little goes a long way.
When presented with the choice, Manitobans will recycle their empty beverage container rather than trashing it. That’s why it’s so important to build a dependable bin infrastructure in public areas. To accomplish our goal, we partner with communities, municipalities, schools, businesses, institutions, parks, event centres, festivals and others to put our bins within reach of every empty beverage container.
Take a glimpse into any Recycle Everywhere bin anywhere — from street corners to festival fields; from cottage decks to cafeterias — and you’ll see that bin filled with the commitment of Manitobans. To the countless individuals in the province who have made the choice, over and over again, to recycle their empty beverage containers: thank you!
CBCRA and its Recycle Everywhere program have completed another year of unwavering commitment and well-executed initiatives. We have built a foundation of accessibility unprecedented anywhere else in the world so Manitobans across the province will always be within reach of a blue bin. We accomplished this through new partnerships, community engagement and expansion into northern Manitoba. Throughout the years, we have made substantial and steady progress towards a recovery rate of 75 per cent and in 2018 we remained focused on our goal.
Last year, we refined our annual research to better understand the knowledge and motivations of recyclers and non-recyclers. These results enable us to effectively change how we engage and encourage Manitobans to make the right recycling decisions. In order to assess the impact of our Recycle Everywhere bins, we have also continued the important litter audits in the province’s five largest cities.
One of the many successes in our efforts to improve our accessibility infrastructure has been our Bin Bag initiative. At major events throughout Manitoba, our Street Team has distributed our portable, reusable Bin Bags to the general public for free. Highly practical, our lightweight, collapsible Bin Bags are popular with Manitobans, and make it easy for them to recycle wherever they go.
After eight years of single-minded determination, we have increased our recovery rate from 42 to 69 per cent. This demonstrates that our efforts have created committed recyclers; however, this enthusiasm has led to a new challenge that is plateauing our progress. In their effort to do the right thing, many Manitobans are recycling the wrong things and thus contaminating the entire bin. All across Canada, recycling programs are dealing with this same issue. To counteract this, we’re implementing new Promotion & Education campaigns to better inform people about how to recycle correctly. Moving forward, we’ll continue to explore new methods to overcome this challenge and reach our 75 per cent recovery rate goal.
Thanks to the ongoing commitment and support of our Board and the dedicated efforts of CBCRA staff and partners, we have laid a strong foundation for long-term achievement. I’m grateful for their commitment and they have my sincerest gratitude. I’d also like to thank Manitobans across the province who have made an effort to recycle more of their empty beverage containers – our success is your success.