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Saskatoon summer festivals find success in zero-waste initiative

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon summer events turn over new leaf by reducing the amount of garbage collected – Sep 4, 2019

A campaign to make this summer’s events less wasteful has seemed to capture some success by diverting garbage away from Saskatoon’s landfill.

The project was set up by Affinity Credit Union and spread across six different events including Foodtruck Wars, Nutrien Fireworks Festival and the Saskatchewan Marathon.

READ MORE: Saskatoon city council votes to continue developing climate plan

It started last year at Foodtruck Wars where 75 per cent of waste was diverted from the landfill through recycling and organic material collection as well as vendors using eco-friendly containers and utensils.

The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council expects it could reach as high as 90 per cent this year.

The council’s executive director said even more could be done with door-to-door collection.

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“The city already knows the great potential there is in recovering organics from landfills. Their own waste characterization studies say in single-family households, 58 per cent of what’s in the bin … is organics,” Joanne Fedyk said on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, city council pushed back the green bin start date to 2023 following a recommendation that it would slowly increase property taxes rather than a more aggressive start date in 2020 which would see larger increases to property taxes.

READ MORE: Saskatoon city council pushes back organics collection to 2023

A city report said in 2017, more than 96,000 tonnes of waste was buried in the landfill with more than 60 per cent coming from curbside garbage collection.

Residents of detached homes can opt into the city’s organic collection program for a fee.

The city has set a target to divert 70 per cent of waste from the landfill by 2023.

Between 2013 and 2017, it was diverting between 21 and 23 per cent.

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