Summer is normally a pretty busy time for us. We hire a bunch of students to promote provincial and city recycling programs. Our Recycling Ambassadors travel the province on behalf of the used oil materials recycling program, SARCAN Recycling, the electronics recycling program and other provincial programs. They log thousands of kms, attending events, checking on SARCAN depots, talking to municipalities and retailers.
Then there’s our Saskatoon crew – we have a contract with the city to promote recycling education and they typically attend 30-plus events, interacting with thousands using the recycling activities in the City’s display.
The last couple of years we’ve had a contract with the Affinity Credit Union to support events they were sponsoring to become Zero Waste. We helped with four in 2019.
One positive about the timing of the pandemic is that it gave us enough time to think about how we might still provide useful work this summer for our partners. What could we do without directly interacting with people? In some cases, we traded kilometres for telephone minutes. In-person workshops and meetings migrated to the Zoomosphere (well, it should be a word). We expanded research-type projects – helping develop GHG calculations for provincial programs. Things that were on the back burner moved forward.
Our Saskatoon summer students are deep into making videos that explain the right way to recycle things, there are plans for a whole series of them.
As for Zero Waste Events when all the events are cancelled, well, sometimes lemons are just lemons. Hopefully next year.