On Monday May 7, I spoke in response to a Minister's statement on Compost Awareness Week.
Mr. Gerrard: I thank the minister for emphasizing the importance of Compost Awareness Week.
The first International Compost Awareness Week was celebrated in Canada in 1995. This year the theme is Compost! Building a Better Future, because compost is one of the ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and truly build a better and greener future for our planet.
Emissions from Canadian landfills account for 20 per cent of national methane emissions and the best way to curb this trend is by composting. In 2015, approximately 30 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalents were generated at Canadian landfills.
While the government would prefer to use carbon tax funds to balance their budget, they should perhaps consider using a portion to reduce emissions and encouraging municipal compost programs to start to bring these numbers down.
In British Columbia, after their carbon tax was implemented, they used a portion of their funds to implement composting programs across municipalities and they've been very successful. If Manitoba were to reduce their organic waste in landfills by 50 per cent, we could prevent 720,000 tons of CO2 from entering our atmosphere–quite a benefit.
It's unfortunate that this government has no plan to reduce these emissions, but certainly composting is one of the many actions that could be taken. There is value in what some called waste and each of us can do something to help.
Composting is good for the environment and for our future no matter where you live. Through composting we can keep organic matter out of landfills, we could improve our soils and our gardens and we can feed and improve more people. I say let us all pay attention to composting this week and do the best we can for the years ahead.