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Curbside Waste Composition

    Status: Needs Improving

Much of what we send to landfills isn't garbage. We are throwing away food scraps and yard waste, which can be composted, or materials that can be easily recycled in your blue cart. Knowing detailed information about the items thrown in the garbage helps the City create targeted communications material and informs the development of new diversion opportunities.

Where are we now?

The City conducts waste characterization studies every few years with the most recent studies occurring in 2016 and 2019. Both studies found that the "garbage" consisted largely of materials than can be diverted away from the landfill. In both years, nearly 8% of the waste placed in the garbage was recyclable, and over 50% was food and yard waste that could be composted. These amounts are in addition to the 26% of materials already being diverted through existing programs.

 

Source: Dillon Consulting, City of Saskatoon: Waste Diversion Opportunities Report.

Data Table
Curbside Waste Composition - 2016
Type Percentage
yard waste 31
food waste 27
recyclables 7
construction and demolition 7
compostable paper 3
electronics or "e-waste" 1
household hazardous waste 1
garbage 24

 Source: Dillon Consulting, City of Saskatoon: Waste Diversion Opportunities Report.

 

Source: AET Group Inc., 2019 City of Saskatoon Waste Characterization Study.

Data Table
Curbside Waste Composition - 2019
Type Percentage
yard waste 28
food waste 25
recyclables 8
construction and demolition 6
compostable paper 4
electronics or "e-waste" 1
household hazardous waste 1
garbage 27

 Source: AET Group Inc., 2019 City of Saskatoon Waste Characterization Study.

What Are We Doing?

New Waste Diversion Opportunities in 2023

The City will complete the roll-out of three major waste diversion projects in 2023 - Curbside OrganicsRecovery Park, and ICI Waste Diversion Regulations - which are anticipated to achieve waste diversion rates of 41% to 54%.

Solid Waste Reduction and Diversion Plan

The City continues to implement actions identified in the Solid Waste Reduction and Diversion Plan. The plan directly supports Saskatoon's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan and long-term objectives outlined in The Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2020.

What Can You Do?

Reuse items that still have a useful life by buying or selling items second-hand, donating items to charity, or taking part in a curbside swap.

Need help sorting your waste? Many items including batteries, lightbulbs, used oil, and paint should not be placed in your at-home blue, black, or green cart. Find out where it goes by downloading the Saskatoon Waste Wizard app or check out the City's online resources at saskatoon.ca/wastewizard.

Did You Know?

Saskatoon homes and businesses send approximately 78,000 tonnes of food and yard waste to landfills each year. Properly handled in composting facilities or home compost systems, much of this material can be turned into a valuable soil amendment that improves fertility, soil structure, and water-holding capacity.