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Since 1995, Manitobans have recycled over one billions pounds of household material.  That is roughly 66,690 garbage trucks full - materials that otherwise would have gone to landfills.  There are about 170 community recycling programs in Manitoba.  In the Interlake, the total amount recycled in 2006 was 1,586,873 kilograms, or 26.2 kg per person.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside a typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside - and in extreme cases 100 times more contaminated—largely because of household cleaners and pesticides. This year, clean out your conventional cleaning products and replace them with more eco-friendly alternatives that still get the job done!

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is waste material generated in our homes that poses a risk to health, safety or the environment when managed in the municipal waste management system. Flammable or combustible products like paint and solvents, reactive products such as pool chemicals, corrosive products like cleaners, toxic products like pesticides, products with heavy metals in them and pharmaceutical products.

Why is HHW a problem?

These products are perfectly safe to use in our houses and fill important needs, however our waste disposal system is not designed to accommodate the higher level of risks associated with their disposal.

HHW Generation in Manitoba

Samples of waste in Winnipeg and rural areas in 2000 indicated there was 1,776 tonnes of HHW in the residential waste stream in Manitoba. This represented less than one percent of the 279,994 tonnes of residential waste generated in Manitoba that year. While this may seem like a minor amount, even a small amount of hazardous waste can cause considerable damage. For example, just one litre of used oil can contaminate 1,000,000 litres of water.

What can I do with my HHW now?

HHW is collected at both the Teulon-Rockwood Waste Disposal Grounds and the Winfield Road Waste Transfer Station.  See our Recycling page for details!


Compared with paper bags, producing plastic ones uses less energy and water and generates less air pollution and solid waste. Plastic bags also take up less space in a landfill. But many of these bags never make it to landfills; instead, they go airborne after they are discarded—getting caught in fences, trees, even the throats of birds, and clogging gutters, sewers, and waterways. To avoid these impacts, the best alternative is to carry and re-use your own durable cloth bags.

Challenge yourself and others!

Try to go at least one week without accumulating any new plastic bags. If every shopper took just one less bag each month, this could eliminate the waste of hundreds of millions of bags each year.

Simple things you can do:

  • Think twice about taking a plastic bag if your purchase is small and easy to carry.
  • Keep canvas bags in your home, office, and car so you always have them available when you go to the supermarket or other stores.
  • Ask your favourite stores to stop providing bags for free, or to offer a discount for not using the bags.
  • Encourage your local politicians to introduce legislation taxing or banning plastic bags.

    Challenge yourself and others!

    Get friends together for an Earth-friendly spring cleaning day. As part of this, replace your conventional cleaning products with items that are biodegradable and safe for children and pets.

    Simple things you can do:

  • Stock up on a few safe, simple ingredients that can be used in most cleaning situations. Soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax, and a coarse scrubbing sponge can take care of most household cleaning needs.
  • Instead of using a standard drain cleaner, which likely contains lye, hydrochloric acid, and sulphuric acid, try pouring a quarter cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, followed by a half cup of vinegar. Close the drain tightly until fizzing stops, then flush with boiling water.
  • For an effective glass cleaner, use a mixture of half white vinegar and half water.
  • Baking soda and cornstarch are both good carpet deodorizers.
  • To clean up mildew and mold, use a mixture of lemon juice or white vinegar and salt.
  • A paste of baking soda, salt, and hot water makes a great oven cleaner.

    In the rare instance you need to use a hazardous product, use as little as possible and dispose of it in a way that will cause minimum harm — for example, by bringing it to our local hazardous waste recycling centre.


    It is estimated that some 35 percent of the residential waste stream consists of compostable materials (kitchen and yard wastes). Encouraging backyard composting is one of the simplest, most effective steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of waste requiring transport to landfill sites. Composting cuts disposal costs, saves energy, and reduces air and water pollution. An added plus, composting generates large volumes of a highly desirable garden soil amendment.

    Composting is easy, cheap, and one of the best things we can all do for the environment -- in our own backyard and our community! Composting saves taxpayers' dollars by reducing waste disposal costs, and yields a highly enriched soil that plants and gardeners love.

    REACT would like to thank Lloyd Jensen for diverting 400 metric tons of Stonewall’s yard waste from the BFI site to his Saskatoon farm east of town each year. We can all help Lloyd in his efforts to create a climate-friendly community by being careful about what we throw into our yard and garden waste bags. Compostable stuff only, please!

    The implications of climate change present challenges for all aspects of life in Manitoba--the economy, the natural environment and society. The important role of natural resources in the provincial economy means that Manitoba is particularly sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. Yet, the actions needed to address climate change also present opportunities for Manitobans to develop new climate change-friendly technologies, enter new markets and attract new businesses. Manitoba is well positioned to meet the climate change challenge ahead as the province's greenhouse gas emissions are already among the lowest in Canada, due to the presence of many innovative businesses, organizations and people.

    Malathion Fact Sheet (Sources – United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO))


  • Malathion kills adult mosquitoes
  • Less mosquito bites – less chance of mosquito borne diseases
  • Malathion has relatively low human toxicity
  • Scientific studies show low levels of malathion do not have toxic effect (direct cause of death) on humans.


  • Malathion readily metabolised (chemically changes) into Malaoxon, which is very toxic (61x more so than Malathion). The most common places where Malathion changes into Malaoxon are in the body (from skin contact or breathing it in), and during chlorination in the water supply. Unfortunately, Malathion is readily absorbed into the body on contact. Chlorination of water is the most effective way to change Malathian to Malaoxon. Due to this chemical change, Malathion is classified to have "suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity." It is only labelled "suggestive" due to the fact that even though rats have developed tumors during studies, no scientific studies have been done on humans to date.
  • Malathion kills all insects. A big concern is the amount of bees are that killed during spraying.
  • Malathion is very toxic to fish and aquatic life. It remains in the waterways for many weeks, so fish populations can be dramatically impacted.
  • Malathion spraying produces resistant mosquitoes. Just as we now use antibiotics more carefully in order to prevent the creation of "superbugs", spraying creates resistant mosquitoes. When a true health emergency comes up, what tools will be left to control the insect population?