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Landfill Airspace

  Status: Needs Improving

Landfill airspace is the volume of space on a landfill site permitted for disposal of municipal solid waste. It is comparable to the finite amount of volume in a bathtub or water bottle, and we fill it up a little more each day.

The amount of landfill airspace used each year depends on several factors, including the amount of residential and commercial garbage brought to the landfill, and operations such as compaction and daily cover.

Based on the five-year average of airspace consumption, the City's landfill can accept garbage for an estimated 46 to 54 years. Landfill operating life can be extended through additional waste diversion programs and operational improvements.

The City's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan includes the following key action within the Environmental Sustainability priority area:

Relevant actions from the Low Emissions Community Plan include:

Where are we now?

There is an estimated 6,000,000 to 7,000,000 cubic metres of airspace remaining in the landfill*. In 2020, we used approximately 125,000 cubic metres of airspace.

*requires the construction of additional infrastructure to reach final design

Data Table
Landfill Airspace
  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total waste buried (tonnes) 99,811 94,772 96,185 94,067 93,394
Landfill Airspace consumed (m3) 133,082 126,363 128,246 125,423 125,191
Landfill Airspace remaining (m3)         7,020,360

Source: City of Saskatoon – Sustainability and Water & Waste Operations Departments

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.

Landfill Optimization

Completed in 2011, the City's plan for landfill optimization provides long-term capital project and operational direction to:

  • expand the expected life of the landfill to fourty (40) years or more;
  • ensure operations comply with (or exceed) environmental protection regulatory requirements;
  • ensure the facility minimizes safety risk, litter, and nuisance pests and odours; and
  • support good customer service.

What Can You Do?

Residents and business can reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill by utilizing one of the many waste diversion programs offered in the City:

  • Subscribe to the Green Cart program to have organic waste composted;
  • Divert special recyclable material such as used paint, scrap metal, and batteries from landfill by taking them to a participating drop-off location; and
  • Take advantage of one of the City's free community education programs.

Visit the Waste & Recycling webpage to learn more about all the waste, recycling, and organics programs the City has to offer.

Did You Know?

The City's landfill received over 87,000 vehicle visits in 2020.