The City of Saskatoon is considering a city-wide organics program to divert food and yard waste from landfill.
Brenda Wallace, the city’s director of environmental and corporate initiatives, says 32 per cent of all material added to regional landfills is organics. This includes 36,600 tonnes from residential sources and 41,700 tonnes from industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sectors.
“If we want to reach our target of diverting 70 per cent of our waste from the landfill, organics represents our single biggest opportunity,” she says.
The city set this diversion target for 2023, which includes a four-year priority to promote and facilitate city-wide composting and recycling and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Organics was flagged in a recent Waste Diversion Opportunities report as a key way to reach this goal.
While a larger volume of organic waste is generated by ICI sources, the report recommends that organics programming focus first on the curbside residential sector. Currently, organics collected in black carts at the curbside, make up 58 per cent of single-family residential garbage. Residential waste management is considered an essential service that Saskatoon delivers: this is not the case for the ICI sector.
As it stands, Saskatoon is one of only two Canadian cities with no city-wide Curbside Collection Program for yard waste and one of only five cities without a Food Waste Collection Program.
Outcomes from the report will be the focus of community discussions this fall. Preliminary results from a recent Waste and Recycling Survey completed by Insightrix in July 2017 indicate that 79 per cent of residents strongly or somewhat support city-wide food and yard waste (green cart) collection for all households.