Business Organic Waste
Approximately 25% of total regional business waste is organic. Keeping organic waste out of the landfill reduces the strain on garbage collection systems and increases the lifespan of landfills. It avoids the creation of harmful greenhouse gases and leachate that occurs when organic matter breaks down in landfills.
As of July 1, 2023, businesses and organizations that generate food and yard waste as part of their operations, such as restaurants and grocery stores, will be required to have separate bins to divert organics and recycling from the garbage.
The new organics regulation means all businesses and organizations that generate food or yard waste as part of their operations are required to:
- Have separate labelled containers for garbage and organics
- Educate employees and tenants annually about which materials are organic and how to sort them
- Ensure organic waste is removed and taken to an appropriate facility
Enforcement will not begin for at least one year (2024) to give businesses and organizations time to meet the new bylaw regulation. The Waste Bylaw
Who does the bylaw apply to?
The Bylaw applies to all businesses and organizations that generate food or yard waste as part of their operations regardless of organization size or number of employees or tenants. Home-based businesses are not included in this regulation as they have access to the residential waste diversion programs. However, they are responsible for the removal of materials that exceed the capacity of their residential containers.
Businesses and organizations may apply for an exemption if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The premises does not routinely generate recyclable or organic material;
- There are risks that cannot be mitigated to the satisfaction of local waste processors and that inhibit the ability of the premises to dispose of waste as required;
- Due to a large production of a single type of organic waste, the premises is unable to find a local waste processor; or
- For any other reason outside of its control, the premises is unable to satisfy the requirements of this Part.
To obtain an exemption, businesses may complete a self-declaration form stating the reason for exemption and provide supporting documentation. Exemptions will be reviewed for approval by the City of Saskatoon.
Home-based businesses are not included in this regulation as they have access to the residential waste diversion programs. However, they are responsible for the removal of materials that exceed the capacity of their residential containers.
Why do we need this?
Businesses and organizations generate 68% of the garbage in our community.
Most of the material collected from these businesses and organizations isn’t garbage at all! Much of what is thrown out is paper, cardboard, and food that can easily be diverted from the landfill. Approximately 25% of total regional business waste is organic.
When organic materials (food and yard waste) end up in the landfill, they are mixed with garbage and quickly buried in an airless environment. Because organics need air to decompose properly, they do not turn into soil or compost. Instead, they release methane gas and create garbage fluids, called leachate. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and leachate needs to be managed under strict environmental regulations. Only 23% of the methane produced by the Landfill is captured as landfill gas and converted into energy, while the remainder is released into our atmosphere.