From Bags to Benches

Winnipeg, Manitoba—This fall, 168 schools across Manitoba participated in the MMSM Bag Up Manitoba program, keeping a record 1,347,017 bags out of the landfills.

"Since starting this program in 2008, over three million bags have been kept from the landfills—and over one million in each of the last two years! This year, we set a new record for number of bags collected," says Tom Ethans, executive director at Take Pride Winnipeg! Inc. "Bairdmore School, the top-collecting school this year, collected 52,646 bags. Take Pride Winnipeg! is very impressed with everyone’s efforts!"

The bags collected will be baled and shipped to Trex for recycling into composite decking material and other products. Each participating school received two birdhouses created from recycled plastic and wood composite material. Some schools will also receive a plastic composite bench for their efforts. Because many schools have participated since the program’s inception, a new “previous winner” category was created. In addition, four participating schools will receive benches via random draw. A total of 14 benches will be awarded between urban and rural schools.

“Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba is proud to sponsor Bag Up Manitoba for the fourth year in a row”, said Karen Melnychuk, executive director, MMSM. “We believe that educating, empowering and motivating students to reduce the amount of plastic bags they use will have a positive impact on our environment. MMSM is committed to the reduction and recovery of single-use plastic bags in Manitoba and programs like this do just that.”

Take Pride Winnipeg! wishes to thank its title sponsor, Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba, as well as Gardewine Group, BFI Canada, Trex and Canada Safeway, for their assistance in making this program run smoothly.

Schools Winning Benches in 2013: (list will be added to as announced)

  • Bairdmore School, Winnipeg
  • Ecole Christine-Lesperance, Winnipeg
  • Ecole Noel-Ritchot, Winnipeg
  • South Oaks School, Grunthal
  • Southwood School, Schanzenfeld
  • Maple Leaf School, Morden
  • Austin Elementary School, Austin
  • Ecole Robert-Browning, Winnipeg
  • Ecole Assiniboine, Winnipeg
  • George V School, Winnipeg
  • Happy Thought School, Selkirk
  • Walter Whyte School, Grand Marais
  • Oakville School, Oakville
  • Ecole Craine, Winnipeg