This holiday season the City of Saskatoon is encouraging residents to stay safe and have waste reduction and diversion top of mind. Gifts, decorations, celebrations, and festive feasts can all result in a significant amount of waste, so it is important to find opportunities to cut down on that waste and to effectively divert it from our landfill.
Holiday Waste Reduction & Diversion Tips
- Make memories by giving experiences over things
- Purchase a pass to a City recreational facility to enjoy skating, swimming, fitness classes, and a variety of other socially-distanced activities.
- Enjoy our winter city and take your family to Optimist Hill for some outdoor thrills, or take up a new outdoor sport like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing and use one of the many beautiful trails around our City.
- Tap into your artistic side and check out the Remai Modern art gallery.
- Take your loved ones to the BHP Enchanted Forest to see a magical light show.
- Attend a virtual class from a local business and learn how to paint, dance, or cook.
- Set up a socially-distanced winter photo shoot with your family.
- Create memorable gifts with reusable material
- Turn used textiles or old clothing into fun holiday-themed masks or bandanas for your family or pets.
- Get creative and turn old holiday tree bulbs and excess gift ribbons into a fancy holiday-themed wreath.
- Take last year’s holiday glittery cards and turn them into gift tags by cutting them into festive shapes.
- Re-gift, Reduce, Reuse
- Gifts: When you’re done with something, pass it along for someone else to enjoy. Clothing, accessories, books, movies, and electronics make great second-hand gifts.
- Decorations: Remember that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Donate these items to a second-hand store.
- Reuse paper, ribbons, bows, and bags
- Some wrapping material isn't recyclable, so why not keep it out of the landfill and reuse it?
- Glittery, plasticized, very shiny wrapping material isn't recyclable.
- When it comes to wrapping paper—if you can rip it, you can recycle it! No need to remove the tape and staples, but it helps if you do!
- Wrap gifts with newsprint and other unique material
- Skip the fancy wrapping and bundle your gifts in old newspapers, flyers, burlap, or a variety of other textiles. After all—it's what's underneath the wrapping that matters most!
- Reduce food waste
- Efficient meal planning for those festive feasts can help to reduce the amount of food going to waste.
- If it makes sense, buy in bulk to cut down on food packaging.
- Compost your Christmas Tree
- Don't send your real tree to the landfill. Take it to a City drop-off site so it can be chipped and composted or used as mulch. Remember to remove the tinsel and decor.
- Use the Recycling Depots
NICE: Holiday items that can be recycled
- Wrapping Paper: If you can rip it, you can recycle it! No need to remove tape and staples, but it helps if you do!
- 100% Cardboard Gift Boxes and Paper Packaging: Remove the plastic, paper, and Styrofoam first before you recycle.
- Milk and Eggnog Containers: Toss in your recycling cart or bin or drop off at a SARCAN depot.
- Aluminum Foil, Pie Plates, and Tin Cans.
- Plastic Containers (#1–7): Excluding black plastics, stretchy plastic film/bags, and Styrofoam.
- Household Glass: Gently place in your recycling or drop off at a SARCAN depot to ensure it doesn't break in the collection process.
- Electronics: Drop off at a SARCAN depot or visit Recycle My Electronics for more options.
- Remember, recyclables must be placed loosely into your cart or bin. Please do not bag or box items; excluding shredded paper in a clear or clear-coloured bag.
Don't know where it goes? Ask the Waste Wizard!
NAUGHTY: Holiday items that cannot be recycled
- Styrofoam or stretchy plastics
- Black or very dark-coloured plastics
- Ribbons and bows
- Plasticized gift bags and handles
- Glittery holiday cards, tags, or stickers
- Holiday string lights
- Ornaments and decorations
- Ugly holiday sweaters or textiles
- Christmas trees (natural or artificial) – Artificial trees can be sold or donated for re-use, or taken to the City Landfill. Live trees can be taken to a City drop-off site. Please don’t place these in your blue or green carts.
- Food-soiled cardboard or plastics that cannot be rinsed.
Don't know where it goes? Ask the Waste Wizard!
Reminders for the holiday season:
- Don’t miss pick-up day!
- Check your Collection Calendar or download the Saskatoon Recycle & Waste app from the App Store or Google Play to set up collection reminders.
- Holiday Collections Reminder: December 25 garbage and recycling collection will happen on December 26. January 1 collections will happen on January 2.
- Roll out your neighbour's cart on a chilly day!
- Whether they’re unable to do it themselves during the snowy season, or they are out of town for the holidays, spread some neighbourly joy and roll out their carts.
- The City Landfill will be closed on December 25 and January 1.