Saskatoon city administration proposes business recycling, organics program

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatoon will not reach its goal of diverting 70 per cent of waste away from the dump – Jan 8, 2020

City staff are set to make a recommendation to the standing policy committee of environment, utilities, and corporate services that would implement a recycling and organics program for businesses and organizations operating in Saskatoon.

Officials heard from 870 participants through workshops, online surveys and meetings in early 2019 to develop this plan they said will help extend the life of the landfill.

Rather than hiring a private contractor, organizations could drop recycling and organic material off at a depot.

READ MORE: Permanent bi-weekly garbage pickup in Saskatoon axed — for now

“This plan gives Saskatoon businesses and organizations an opportunity to lead by example and to enhance the quality of life in Saskatoon,” the city’s director of sustainability Jeanna South said.

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It would include separate containers for different materials and education on properly storing and sorting materials.

A phased-in approach would give the sector a chance to prepare, so the city expects recycling to start in the second half of 2021 while organics would be brought in towards the second half of 2022.

The city would follow up on complaints but enforcement wouldn’t start until one year after each program has launched.

READ MORE: Saskatoon summer festivals find success in zero-waste initiative

The city added smaller businesses could use residential curbside pickup and some could even compost on-site.

“There might even be some other innovations that the city would deem acceptable. So those that don’t want to work under that more normative commercial environment might have other ideas,” South said.

Saskatoon businesses create more than three times the waste compared to homes.

With these proposed measures, administration expects to turn away 27 per cent of garbage from the landfill – up from the current rate of 22 per cent.

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

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No matter what happens, the city will not reach its goal of diverting 70 per cent of waste away from the dump by 2023.

However, the city said this option is the most cost-effective and has been adopted in other municipalities like Calgary and Halifax.

Council’s environment committee will consider the proposal on Jan. 13.

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