January 23, 2020

Saskatchewan Develops New Strategy To Manage And Reduce Waste

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan released a new Solid Waste Management Strategy for the province today.  This strategy is a starting point to providing a practical and sustainable solid waste management system to achieve specific goals over the next 20 years.

Used packaging, food scraps, electronics, plastic, paper and scrap materials are a few examples of solid waste.

Saskatchewan produces the second-highest amount of waste per capita in Canada – an amount equivalent to each resident of the province generating about 842 kilograms of waste.  This is roughly the weight of 60 regular household bags of garbage per person per year.  The strategy was developed in an effort to change that statistic and move toward more responsible waste management.

“This strategy is about working together to address the ongoing challenges of waste management and to identify potential new economic opportunities for industry,” Duncan said.  “This is important because the status quo is unsustainable and the province needs a comprehensive and strategic action plan to address the unique challenges posed by solid waste management.”

Since 2018, a Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee engaged extensively with stakeholders, which led to a list of recommendations for government to consider when developing the strategy.  The strategy outlines six goals to reduce the amount of waste generated per person by 30 per cent by 2030, and 50 per cent by 2040, based on 2014 baseline levels.

The six goals are to:

  1. Enhance education, awareness and technical understanding of waste management best practices and the risks of improper practices across Saskatchewan;
  2. Encourage regional collaboration to enhance the cost effectiveness of waste management infrastructure;
  3. Foster innovative and sustainable solutions to manage waste;
  4. Demonstrate government leadership in waste management;
  5. Provide a modern, efficient and effective regulatory system for waste disposal and management; and
  6. Enhance waste diversion across Saskatchewan.

Meeting these targets will require dedicated efforts to educate and better inform waste management decisions by all Saskatchewan residents.  It will also require innovation and local solutions to better understand the value of the province's waste as a resource, and build upon the success of Saskatchewan's established recycling and waste stewardship programs.

“It’s no secret that waste is an issue in Saskatchewan and around the world,” Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee Chair Richard (Porky) Porter said.  “This strategy is a significant start and will help our province develop policies and programs to address a number of ongoing challenges related to waste management.”

Effective waste management is essential to responsible growth.  The Solid Waste Management Strategy aligns with Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan and will serve as the roadmap for waste reduction and management for the well-being of the province, its people and its future.

“We are pleased that education is a priority and encouraged by the focus on waste diversion and organics management,” Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Executive Director Joanne Fedyk said.  “We look forward to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Strategy and applaud the provincial government for pursuing funding opportunities.”

Every Saskatchewan resident can contribute by generating less waste, recycling and composting.

Saskatchewan’s new Solid Waste Management Strategy is available at www.saskatchewan.ca.