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Reducing Waste and Recycling

Grain Bag Recycling Program

Earlier this year, the Government of Saskatchewan approved a new recycling program for agricultural plastics – the first of its kind in Canada – regulated under The Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulations. The program provides a responsible option for producers to return plastic grain bags for recycling. All first sellers, as defined in the regulations, are required to join an approved program.

Cleanfarms is an industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural waste and is operating the grain bag recycling program on behalf of regulated retailers and manufacturers.

Starting November 1, 2018, the grain bag recycling program will be funded through an environmental handling fee (EHF) added to grain bags at the point of purchase. Please visit Cleanfarms for a more detailed list of EHFs.

The program builds on a strong foundation started by SimplyAg, which was part of a Ministry of Agriculture pilot that started in 2011. A permanent industry-led grain bag recycling program launched on January 1, 2018, provides farmers with a more comprehensive, province-wide collection network. Cleanfarms is currently operating 23 collection sites around the province. Continued growth of the program will expand the collection network in the years to come.

For more information on the program, including a map of all the collections sites in the province, please visit Cleanfarms.

Consultation Feedback on Proposed Household Hazardous Waste Regulations and Recycling Program

The Government of Saskatchewan held an online consultation from October to December 2017 on the development of household hazardous waste product stewardship and recycling regulations. Stakeholders and interested groups had 60 days to review the Summary of Proposed HHW Regulations and complete an online survey. Survey results and feedback have been summarized in a What We Heard document. The feedback gained will help inform the content of the proposed regulations, and ensure that a household hazardous waste program will meet the needs of Saskatchewan residents, keeps pace with changing times, and leads to positive environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Milk containers join provincial beverage container recycling program

Effective April 1, 2017, milk containers will be added to the provincial beverage recycling program, allowing Saskatchewan residents to return milk containers to any SARCAN depot for refund of a paid deposit.

Read the news release and information sheet for details, and visit SARCAN’s website.

Solid Waste Management Strategy

The Government of Saskatchewan has established the Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee, an independent committee, to lead consultations with municipalities, industry, recycling organizations and First Nations and make formal recommendations to the Minister of Environment towards the development of a provincial solid waste management strategy.

Good news, Saskatchewan!

You’ve contributed to some impressive recycling and waste reduction in our province:

  • More than 400 million beverage containers recycled through SARCAN in 2017.
  • More than 409,000 litres of paint collected and diverted from landfills in 2017.
  • More than 2,200 tonnes of waste electronics collected and recycled in 2017.
  • More than 18 million litres of used oil and almost two million oil filters recycled in 2017.
  • Over 480 municipalities have blue box recycling programs, leading to more than 41,250 tonnes of printed paper and packaging materials recycled in 2017. .

Where can I recycle my waste?

There are plenty of options to recycle waste. Visit the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council to learn more.

Saskatchewan’s waste diversion and recycling programs are based on the extended producer responsibility (EPR) model in which the producer is physically and/or financially responsible for the proper disposal of their product at the end of its useful life.  The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to working towards the development of legislation and regulations that support the Canadian Council of Minister of the Environment’s (CCME) Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility (CAP-EPR).  Saskatchewan has established a number of successful EPR stewardship recycling programs to recycle beverage containers, used oil, oil filters and oil containers, antifreeze, scrap tires, paint and paint containers, electronic waste, and packaging and printed paper. 

Electronics The Electronic Product Recycling Association (EPRA) ensures end-of-life electronic waste is responsibly recycled. You can recycle your old electronics, such as home theatre systems, computers or televisions at any SARCAN depot.

Paint Drop off unwanted household paint to be recycled at any SARCAN depot in the province. SARCAN also offers a free paint exchange program. The Saskatchewan Paint Program, operated by ReGeneration, provides further information on the paint recycling program.

Beverage Containers – Take your non-refillable, ready-to-serve beverage containers to any SARCAN depot and receive a deposit refund. These containers include aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles and juice boxes.

Scrap Tires Tire Stewardship of Saskatchewan is a non-profit, non-government organization that delivers the province-wide tire recycling program. The program diverts millions of used tires from the waste stream, recycling them into useful items such as speed bumps, vehicle ramps, tree rings, mulch mats, and running tracks.

Used Oil and Antifreeze – Used oil, oil filters, oil containers, and antifreeze, can be re-refined, recycled and reprocessed into useful products like new lubricants, construction rebar, posts and fencing. Recycling used oil materials helps to prevent pollution and conserve non-renewable resources. The Saskatchewan Association for Resource Recovery Corporation (SARRC) provides further information on the used oil and antifreeze recycling program.

What else can you do

Let's throw away our ‘throw away’ mentality. We're making great progress as a province, but there's more each of us can do. Let's live the three Rs:

Reducing is the most important step. If you can avoid buying something, you don't have to figure out what to do with it later. 

Not only does it cost money, energy and natural resources to manufacture and move new products, it also costs a great deal to transport and process these products once we're done with them. The more waste we put in the ground, the more our landfills release methane gas (a contributor to climate change), as well as leachate, a toxic sludge that can kill plants and animals as well as contaminate our water supplies. Many Saskatchewan landfills are reaching their capacity, and extending their lifespan will help us avoid costs that we will all pay.

Before purchasing, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Do I already have something that might do the job?
  • Can I rent or borrow instead?
  • Is the item meant to be used once and thrown out?
  • Are there more durable, less wasteful alternatives?

Reusing is all about giving things a second life. Ask yourself:

  • Is this item still usable? Can it be repaired? Who might I be able to give it to? Consider donating items to schools, libraries, daycares, shelters, care homes, hospitals, doctors' offices or thrift shops.
  • Renovating? Donate useful materials and fixtures to your local charity or Habitat for Humanity.

Recycling is the final R because it involves energy and resources to process materials into new products, but you can't be green without it. Fortunately, recycling is quickly becoming the norm in Saskatchewan. Here's what you can do right now:

  • Learn more about recycling programs available in Saskatchewan.
  • Find out what and where you can recycle in your community.
  • Shop green. Try to purchase products made from recycled material, ideally post-consumer content, which comes from community recycling programs.
  • Leave grass clipping on your lawn. They'll help to retain moisture and keep your grass green.
  • Start composting, even if you don't have a yard.

Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP)

New change to the program:

Are you a Saskatchewan business with over $2 million in annual sales?

Starting January 1, 2017, businesses between $2-5 million in annual revenue are obligated to become part of MMRP, unless they are covered by a program exemption. For more information about MMRP, please review the Understanding MMRP Fact Sheet and FAQ.

Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW), the program service providers, have also introduced flat fee categories for low volume stewards. More information about the flat fees and their online assessment tool is on MMSW website.

MMRP is a province-wide recycling program for:

  • household printed paper,
  • newspaper,
  • cardboard,
  • plastic,
  • metal, and;
  • glass packaging material

Saskatchewan municipalities and industry share the cost of the MMRP program.

Any business that sells or distributes household packaging and paper products in Saskatchewan may be financially obligated to participate in MMRP. Starting January 1, 2016, businesses with more than $5 million in annual revenue were obligated to become part of MMRP. Municipalities then receive funding to offset the cost of their recycling programs.

As Saskatchewan communities continue to grow, reducing the waste going into our landfills will help to extend the life of landfills and save infrastructure dollars.

Multi-Material Stewardship Western Inc. (MMSW) operates the program based on a product management plan that defines how the recycling program will be structured, funded and managed.

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