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Waste reduction week in Saskatchewan focuses on food waste

At a cost of $27-billion annually in Canada, the focus of waste reduction week in Saskatchewan is on reducing food waste. Justin Sullivan /Getty Images

SASKATOON – While waste reduction week helps people rethink what they consume and throw away, an additional focus this year will be on food waste.

“In Canada alone we waste an estimated 27 billion dollars’ worth of food every year,” says Joanne Fedyk, the executive director of the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC).

“This is a waste of our resources and, in a country where one in 10 people is food insecure, it has social implications as well.”

The Saskatchewan government has proclaimed Oct. 20-26 as waste reduction week in the province.

“With Saskatchewan growing, it is everyone’s responsibility to find ways to reduce the waste that we create and we can do that by practicing the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle,” says Environment Minister Scott Moe.

Fedyk says while food waste occurs at all stages – production, distribution, retailing and consumption – almost half happens with the consumer.

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“While no one intentionally wastes food, 40 per cent of the food we produce doesn’t get eaten,” says Fedyk.

It’s time for all of us to think about ways to change our habits and to improve the whole food system.”

It’s not just food though that is the focus of the week.

With access to some of the most successful recycling programs in the country, Saskatchewan people are becoming more mindful about protecting our environment, making recycling a good habit,” says Moe.

“This is evident by the increased demand for community recycling programs.”

According to statistic from Recycle Saskatchewan, more than 44,000 tonnes and 19 million litres of beverage containers, tires, waste electronics, used oil and paint were diverted from landfills in 2013.

“This week presents a good reminder of the need to reduce, reuse and recycle waste as we aim to make every week a waste reduction week in Saskatchewan,” said Fedyk.

SWRC will be holding two events in Saskatoon on food waste.

The first takes place at 7 p.m. Monday at the Roxy Theatre with a special screening of “Just Eat It,” a documentary on food waste from farm to consumer.

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On Tuesday, SWRC will be speaking at the Saskatoon Public Library’s Sustainable Speaker Series, which takes place at 8:30 p.m. at the Frances Morrison Central Library.

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