March 20, 2019

Budget Includes More Money For Recycling Program, Aerial Wildfire Fighting Fleet

The Ministry of Environment will boost its funding for Saskatchewan’s successful beverage container recycling program in 2019-20, and continue to modernize the province’s fleet of firefighting aircraft.

The 2019-20 Budget includes an additional $2.248 million to help deliver the SARCAN Beverage Container Collection and Recycling Program, for a total of just over $27 million.

The ministry pays SARCAN an annual grant equal to the environmental handling charges collected two years prior – in this case, fees collected in 2017-18.  SARCAN employs more than 700 staff at its 72 collection depots province-wide.

“This additional funding will help ensure the ongoing success of Saskatchewan’s beverage container recycling program, and the continuation of all the benefits it provides to the province,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “In addition to diverting a significant amount of waste from our landfills, SARCAN contributes to the well-being of persons with disabilities and others that work within the operation.”

The 2019-20 Budget also includes $9.252 million to begin the purchase of one CL215T air tanker.  The new firefighting aircraft will replace the province’s one remaining CL215P piston tanker, at a cost of just over $37 million over three years, and will join the fleet for the 2022 wildfire season.  Saskatchewan’s aerial fleet currently includes four land-based air tankers, six water-scooping aircraft and seven smaller bird-dog planes that are used to guide tanker aircraft.

These two key investments support the Ministry of Environment’s core mandate of environmental protection and sustainable resource management.  They balance the need to carefully manage spending while continuing to invest in needed services, programs and infrastructure for Saskatchewan people.