The City of Prince Albert will meet with local grocery stores and those in the food industry following a request from a local group to do more to salvage food before it reaches the landfill.
Mayor Greg Dionne said the City will begin discussions with local grocers to look at options to divert food from becoming garbage while it is still edible. Councillors agreed to move on the idea at their recent executive committee meeting on Monday, following a presentation from the Prince Albert Food Coalition.
The coalition has been in Prince Albert for the last 25 years, working with industry and community groups, schools and businesses to reduce food waste and promote food security. In a report presented to council on Monday, the food coalition said one store alone can generate up to 200 pounds of food waste per day, and one-third of garbage in the landfill is food.
The group says more food can be donated to community groups for the less fortunate before it becomes unusable and asked the City to make composting a more viable option. In Prince Albert, the local food bank provides 3,000 food hampers per month.
The food coalition said other communities have developed programs to deal with food waste.
“Clearly food waste needs to be redirected,” Debbie Schutte, public health nurse with the Saskatchewan Health Authority told council this week.
The City is also being urged to make composting of food waste cheaper than dumping it into the landfill. In a letter from the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council, Executive Director Joanne Fedyk said diverting food waste can also help free up space at the local landfill, produce valuable soil for garden and agricultural operations, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.