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Students leading the way in reducing 50 per cent of school division waste

The Manitoba Government is partnering with 21 groups that are making a positive impact on the environment and at the same time gaining a competitive economic advantage through leading-edge technologies for recycling and pollution reduction. This announcement was made by Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh.

“I am always looking to build partnerships that protect our environment and at the same time make Manitobans money. That’s what growing a green economy is all about,” said Mackintosh. “Today I am pleased that along with business leaders we are seeing our children lead the way in making environmentally responsible choices that will make big changes for everyone.”

The minister announced $360,000 will go to the groups through grants from the Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention (WRAPP) Fund. The WRAPP Fund supports improved waste reduction and pollution prevention practices in Manitoba.

Antex Western Ltd. will use its funding for a project that will be piloted on Bishop Grandin Boulevard, in which materials such as discarded glass and carpet fibre will be used to create soil stabilizers that prevent erosion. Altima Cabinet Works Ltd. will use its funding to convert 95 per cent of its waste, consisting primarily of wood scraps, to be recycled into particle board for reuse in cabinet making. It will also use new air-filtering technology in its spray paint booths and switch from solvent to water-based products. The companies said both initiatives will improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution.

A new initiative of Russ Dirks and his students at Landmark Elementary School will divert more than 50 per cent of the entire school division’s waste by using green products, and increasing recycling and composting activities. This includes transporting material to the City of Steinbach’s composting facility. Schools that are developing greenhouses and community gardens will have access to the finished compost along with the general public, free of charge.

Since 1999 with the support or the WRAPP Fund, Manitobans have recycled more than 811,501 tonnes of material, equal to almost 101,000 full garbage trucks, the minister said, adding  a total of 315 projects have been supported with more than $5.4 million in grants since the fund’s creation in 2000.

The minister noted the projects support the implementation of TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, the province’s eight-year strategic action plan, which is guiding the work of Manitobans to protect the environment while ensuring a prosperous and environmentally conscious economy. More information on the plan is available online.

“I want our province to be a place where forward-thinking solutions thrive,” said Mackintosh. “By working together, we will find new ways to protect our environment for future generations, while building a sustainable economy.”

Information on the Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention (WRAPP) Fund is available at www.susdev.gov.mb.ca. For more information about Green Manitoba, visit www.greenmanitoba.ca.

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