October 28, 2015

Saskatchewan Recycling Initiative to Launch in January

Today, Environment Minister Herb Cox announced the Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP) will begin on January 1, 2016, for large businesses (over $5 million in gross revenue).

“I am pleased to announce the launch of this recycling initiative that will preserve local landfills and encourage more communities to implement recycling programs,” Cox said.  “After consulting with stakeholders, this revised program recognizes the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized business and addresses the needs of our municipalities.”

MMRP is a cost-shared initiative between businesses and municipalities that will provide funding for the collection of recyclable household materials.  Materials include printed paper, newsprint, cardboard, plastic, metal and glass packaging.

MMRP will be managed in Saskatchewan by Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW), a non-profit organization that operates similar programs in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario.  MMSW will act on behalf of businesses that produce, sell or distribute residential packaging and paper to Saskatchewan households.

MMSW will collect fees based on the size of each participating business, as well as their production of paper and packaging products.  MMSW will then reimburse municipalities for collection of waste paper and packaging.

Changes to the program that were announced in December 2014 will continue to be in place.  Under this program:

  • Businesses which generate less than $2 million in gross annual revenue, generate less than one tonne of paper per year, or operate as a single point of retail are permanently exempt from participating in MMRP.
  • A transition period exemption until January 1, 2017, is in place for businesses whose annual revenue is between $2 million and $5 million, as well as for all newspapers.  These businesses will not be required to report their tonnage of household packaging and paper during this period, but will be required to register with MMSW and contribute a $500 annual flat fee.
  • Businesses that generate $5 million in gross annual revenue and do not fall into any of the exemption categories are required to fully participate in MMRP.

A working group has been established during the transition period to identify further program adjustments that will help to bring mid-size businesses and larger newspapers into MMRP.

“SARM is looking forward to the MMRP launching on January 1, 2016,” SARM President Ray Orb said.  “This program will provide municipalities with funding for their recycling programs that will help create a greener Saskatchewan by making recycling programs more sustainable and by diverting more waste from landfills.”

“SUMA welcomes this approval and the government’s commitment to launch the province-wide recycling program,” SUMA President Debra Button said.  “We look forward to working with all the stakeholders as part of the advisory committee to guide the program through the transition period, and to ensure this is a strong, lasting program that meets the needs of Saskatchewan’s cities, towns and villages.”

“We're pleased to see the Multi-Material Recycling Program is finally moving forward,” Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Executive Director Joanne Fedyk said.  “The program will allow communities across the province to have stable and expanded recycling programs, and help municipalities to achieve their waste diversion objectives.”