May 23, 2023

Enhanced Recycling Initiative Makes Winnipeg Communities More Sustainable

Qualico Communities LogoWinnipeg, MB – Qualico Communities Winnipeg has introduced a new and enhanced Corporate Responsibility Framework initiative in their 2023 business plan that outlines where they are going to reuse or, as appropriate, research and implement opportunities to use and produce recycled items.

Currently, reusing granite and limestone in landscaping projects is one way in which Qualico Communities Winnipeg strives to build sustainably and lessen its impact on the environment. The team uses large amounts of these materials – which would otherwise typically be various local job site waste products – in their public reserves and other projects in their communities.

Rocks that become unearthed when digging stormwater retention basins (SRB) in new communities are also reused in landscaping projects. A great example can be found at École Dieppe, where Qualico Communities Winnipeg used reclaimed boulders as part of the school’s landscaping.

Reclaimed alabaster from Qualico Communities’ SRB construction in Ridgewood West has also been reused to make sculptures. These sculptures were made by a local Indigenous artist and were presented as gifts from the contractor who unearthed the alabaster. One of these sculptures is on display in the corporate office, while the other is currently found in the office of Qualico Communities Winnipeg.

Qualico Communities Winnipeg also makes use of reclaimed wood from trees that must be removed during the construction of new communities. Mike Armstrong, Manager, Operations - Qualico Communities Winnipeg, shared an example of damaged hybrid poplar trees that were inevitably going to die from excavating through encroaching roots while installing deep utilities.

“The trees were very important to the property owner, as they were originally planted by her father-in-law 60 years ago,” Mike explained.

To make good use of the trees, Qualico Communities Winnipeg sent them to a mill in Elma, Manitoba, which it uses for its reclaimed wood projects. The team works closely with the mill owner, who enjoys being part of such intimate projects.

Some of the lumber which has been collected from removed trees in the community of Bison Run could end up being used for lawn/picnic furniture and a shade structure in Qualico Communities Winnipeg’s public reserves. Whereas some of the other reclaimed wood was used to make benches at École Dieppe. The team would also like to make something special for the property owner.

These initiatives tie back into the conscious effort that Qualico is making to the Corporate Responsibility impact area of Building Sustainably by looking for ways to increase recycling or reuse of materials that are not currently part of an existing recycling program, bin, or service.

According to Mike, the Qualico Communities Winnipeg team intends to keep up the methods they’ve been using to avoid unnecessary waste and make good use of materials available to them during the development process, as well as implement new methods where possible.

“We will continue maximizing the use of everything taken from our jobsites and reuse everything we can,” he said. “We already consider our current program of repurposing waste a great success and want to continue the processes we’re currently employing.”

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