ICI Waste Diversion
On Monday, August 30, City Council passed The Waste Amendment Bylaw #9775 requiring all businesses and organizations in Saskatoon to have separate waste containers for recyclable materials (2022) and organic material (2023) in addition to their garbage container.
The Administration will report back in October with more information on the tools and resources that will be available to businesses during this transition and to help with bylaw compliance.
In early 2020, City Council approved a regulatory approach for recycling and organics for the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector. With a phased-in approach beginning in 2022, all businesses and organizations will be required to have a separate container for recycling, and those that generate food or yard waste as part of their operations will be required to have a separate organics waste container.
In mid-2021 The Waste Bylaw will be updated to include the ICI regulation based on the phased approach outlined below. The exact start dates will be finalized in that report.
|Year 1||Recycling||Education and assistance with early compliance|
|Year 2||Recycling||Enforcement begins|
|Year 2||Organics||Education and assistance with early compliance|
|Year 3||Organics||Enforcement begins|
Engagement with Businesses and Organizations
As part of the YXE Talks Trash engagement series, City Administration engaged with 870 participants from businesses and organizations through workshops, online surveys, and face-to-face meetings to develop this approach. The engagement results and subsequent recommendations were presented to City Council in January 2020.
Why do we need this?
- Saskatoon’s businesses and organizations generate 68% of all garbage. 169,000 tonnes of waste go to Saskatoon and area landfills each year.
- 24% (23,900 tonnes) of garbage accepted by the City’s landfill in 2016 were from businesses and organizations. The remaining 145,100 tonnes of garbage were sent to privately operated landfills.
- 60% of this waste could be diverted from landfills. The highest diversion opportunities are: organic materials, recyclables, and construction and demolition waste.
- Businesses and organizations believe waste is the most important environmental issue. Main concerns include availability of recycling and too much garbage being sent to the landfill.
- Waste from businesses and organizations is managed differently. Private haulers collect waste from most businesses and organizations. Requirements for recycling and organics are unlikely to change who collects waste.
What can businesses and organizations do to help?
Creating an action plan using multiple strategies is the best way for businesses to reduce waste outputs. Below are five recommendations to assist you with increasing waste diversion rates in Saskatoon:
- Complete a Waste Audit
- Conducting an audit of your recycling, garbage, and/or organics, is a great tactic to help your business better understand waste habits and how to better manage it. This information will aid in sustainable improvements and efficiency.
- Standardize Waste Receptacles and Signage
- Consistency is key to keeping waste in its right place. Begin by standardizing recycling receptacles; keeping them all the same shape and colour within the organization. If you are required to make changes to the waste program on what is and is not accepted, ensure that users are informed and signage is updated and consistent.
- Focus on Efficiency with Set Goal
- Create logistics plans within your company that focus on efficiently reducing waste. Make changes that will benefit your company like creating a sustainability or procurement policy or implementing organics collection in your lunch areas. For accountability, set goals and report achievements.
- Reduce Waste Outputs
- The best approach to actively increasing waste diversion rates is following the first of the 3 R’s—Reduce. Focus should be placed on the purchases that are made in the supply stream before they enter your business. Investigate low-waste or alternative packaging options for consumables. Remember to reduce, then reuse, before you consider recycling.
- Read, Listen, & Share
- The recycling waste stream is dependent upon global markets and is prone to changes; affecting what is and is not accepted in our waste streams. Keep informed by frequently searching for reputable education sources and communicating with local waste specialists if you have questions. Don’t forget to share newly learned information with your colleagues.