Focus on … 2006 Waste Reduction in Saskatchewan
So how did we do waste-wise in ‘06?
Generally, we made progress, though often not as quickly as we would like. (Two steps forward and one step back is, after all, still progress.)
On the step forward side, the Saskatchewan Paint Stewardship Program (SPSP) was launched April 1. Residents can now bring all their unwanted paint to the nearest SARCAN depot. Reusable paint is set out for the public to take, and recyclable paint is processed into fuel or new products. As of the end of October, 88,670Lof paint were collected and 13,764 litres of paint were given away for reuse through the paint exchange program. Over 36 tonnes of scrap metal and plastics were sent for recycling.
Some municipalities have taken advantage of not having to pay to recycle paint by diverting the funds into other programs. Saskatoon has expanded its household hazardous waste collection from two events a year (when paint was included) to monthly events (and twice monthly in the summer).
On the step back side, Statistics Canada’s new waste numbers show us increasing our total waste disposed by 5% between 2002 and 2004. We threw away 838 kg of trash per person in 2004. The most difficult part of waste reduction is getting the total waste to go down. On a positive note, we increased the amount of material we diverted from landfill by 14% during the same period.
The provincial stewardship programs are seeing increased use. The hot summer had the SARCAN depots hopping with more beverage containers coming back than ever before. Milk container returns continue to rise as a result of concerted promotional efforts. Used oil material and scrap tire returns remain strong.
On the downside, no electronics recycling program happened this year, but there is good news on that front too (a new program to be launched February, 2007).
Looking ahead, plans for 2007 are already in the works:
Saskatoon has started work on a Waste and Recycling Action Plan that should be complete in the new year. Regina has just formed a great partnership for promoting its recycling programs (see page 11). The City of Moose Jaw has just announced they will switch to automated garbage collection with bins for individual households. They expect the system to be in place by summer 2007.
Sask. Environment started working on a stewardship program for paper, plastics, glass and tin (calling it Multi-material Stewardship). It’s still in progress and generating some controversy, and given the slowly turning wheels of government, will likely be some time in coming to fruition. We hope SE will also take on a stewardship program for household hazardous wastes in 2007 (we’ll be nagging).
[Source: December 2006 WasteWatch]
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