2014 Waste Minimization Awards - Celebrating Saskatchewan's Waste Reducers

The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC) and SaskTel hosted Saskatchewan's 19th Waste Minimization Awards ceremony on April 23, 2015 at the Sheration Cavalier Hotel in Saskatoon.

SWRC gratefully acknowledges SaskTel's sponsorship of the 2014 Awards.

The 2014 Awards were presented by Greg Hearn, SaskTel's Environment Manager, and Rob Norris, MLA for Saskatoon Greystone.

Corporate Leadership Award – Federated Co-operatives Ltd.

coopFCL is committed to reducing waste, increasing waste diversion, and being leaders in environmental sustainability. The strategies and tactics they have adopted for waste reduction, recycling, and reuse have been implemented across their organization for more than two decades. They have championed food waste diversion as a way to decrease their ecological footprint and enhance the communities they do business in. FCL has been a long-term partner with food banks in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Edmonton, resulting in hundreds of thousands of kilograms of food donated on an annual basis.

FCL collaborates with CleanFarms, which collects obsolete pesticides chemical containers for recycling. This has resulted in the collection of tens of thousands of pesticide containers over the past several years.  FCL also has implemented recycling programs for agricultural seeds (recycling and repurposing 400,000 kilograms of seed annually) and automotive batteries (collecting 30,000 lead acid batteries per year).

They have developed waste reduction and recycling programs in their head office in Saskatoon to create as little waste as possible.  Knowing that one of the most effective methods to reduce waste is to alter simple behaviours, FCL implemented a See Spot, Recycle campaign in 2014 to kick off their enhanced office recycling program. The See Spot, Recycle campaign helped achieve a waste diversion rate of 81% at their main office. Most impressively, this included a 21% reduction in paper and 13% reduction in total waste sent to landfill since 2013.


Small Business Award – The Hollows

hollowsThe Hollows is a locally owned restaurant operating out of the historic Golden Dragon building in Saskatoon. Prior to chef and owner Christie Peters’ interested in the building, the Golden Dragon remained unoccupied for several years. Christie and her chef husband Kyle immediately recognized the incredible potential presented by the building and, aside from specific requirements to bring the space up to code, did little in terms of renovations. They chose to honour the space and reused and restored as many materials that they could, including dishes, glassware, takeaway containers, matchbooks, kitchen utensils, cookware, tables and chairs, etc. They have also salvaged stoves and other cooking equipment, investing both time and money into cleaning and repairing older units.

The dumpster that sits in the alley behind The Hollows is picked up only once a month, and it is never full. The Hollows composts all food waste, which is used in their gardens. They grow their own vegetables and use waste water to water them. All of the napkins and takeout containers at The Hollows are composted or recycled, and all straws are biodegradable. Before packaging is placed in the recycling, Christie and Kyle save whatever they can to send back to their suppliers so that it can be reused. They actively avoid using or purchasing any products/supplies that cannot be composted or recycled.  Broken glasses are even given to a local glass artist for use in her work.


Small Business Award – Revamp Salon

revampReVamp Hair Salon is the first salon in Saskatoon and one of only three salons in SK to participate in the Green Circle Salon program. Owner Celene Dupuis has implemented a comprehensive recycling and repurposing program that ensures hair, foils, colour tubes plastics, and chemicals get diverted out of the waste and water stream. Revamp’s efforts go beyond chemicals and hair recycling. They are careful to consider energy efficient and water conserving appliances when building the salon. Beverages are served in real ceramic and glass vessels as opposed to Styrofoam and the K-Cups used so commonly throughout the industry are forbidden from the premises. Their garbage output has moved from a full bag taken to the dumpster daily to a quarter full bag taken out weekly, a reduction of approximately 96% from similar sized salons.


Non-Profit Award – Saskatchewan Scrap Tire Corp. (SSTC)

SSTCThe Black Gold Rush is the SSTC’s one-time free scrap tire clean-up program aimed at cleaning up tire piles on private property and farmland throughout Saskatchewan. Since 2010, 157 rural municipalities have participated in the Black Gold Rush program, with a total of 372,677 scrap tires have been collected equal in weight to 18 million pounds. This is a huge amount of waste diverted from landfills that has ended up as new consumer products such as arena matting, industrial mats, playground nugget and pour-in-place surfaces, speed bumps, industrial ramps, wheel chocks, and industrial mats.


Partnership Award – Envirotec and Sask Association for Resource Recovery Corp. (SARRC)

sarrc & envirotecSaskatchewan businesses and residents generate the equivalent of 25 million litres of used oil annually.  Before the creation of a provincial used oil materials recycling program, less than half that amount was collected and recycled.Saskatchewan Association for Resource Recovery Corp. (SARRC) is the non-profit corporation formed to develop, implement and maintain Saskatchewan’s Used Oil, Filter, container, and now Antifreeze recycling program.

Since being launched in 1997, Envirotec Services Incorporated, a Saskatchewan-based environmental solutions provider for hazardous waste management and emergency response, has been a significant, long-term contributing SARRC partner, collecting approximately half of oil and antifreeze materials the SARRC program collects annually. As a registered SARRC collector and processor, Envirotec has coordinated the pickup, transport and processing of a considerable volume of used oil materials across Saskatchewan, servicing large industrial consumers, small businesses and farms.

Resource recovery through SARRC and registered collectors such as Envirotec goes beyond the large-scale reduction of waste from the Saskatchewan environment. Recovered used oil is reprocessed into re-refined lubricating oil, industrial burner fuel and other industrial products. Used oil filters are processed into structural metal shapes used to manufacture industrial and agricultural products, 10 million kilograms of steel oil filters have been recycled by Envirotec alone. During their 17 year partnership, Envirotec and SARRC have recycled over 287 million litres of used oil (enough to fill 48 olympic sized swimming pools), 32 million oil filters, and almost 5 million kilograms of oil, antifreeze, and DEF containers.


Festival and Events Award – Saskatoon Civic Breakfast

cosThe City of Saskatoon’s Annual Civic Pancake Breakfast is an annual event that has run for 40 years to kick-start summer and has been a zero waste event for 7 years.

The City of Saskatoon’s Environmental Services Branch and the Civic Pancake Breakfast organizing committee worked in collaboration over the past seven years to achieve consistently high diversion rates.  The waste diversion rate rose from 78% in 2008 to 96% in 2014.  In the past 6 years, only one bag of garbage per year has been generated, and last year that bag weighed only 14kg.

The Civic Pancake Breakfast follows the 3Rs hierarchy. The event now looks at ways to reduce waste from the onset. For example, individually packaged items such as butter, margarine, or creamers are no longer purchased. As much of the materials as possible are reused or composted. Leftover food has been delivered to the Friendship Inn to reduce food waste.  Composted items include dinnerware (plates, cutlery, serviettes), food scraps, and soiled paper such as the tablecloths.  The majority of other materials, such as cardboard boxes, juice boxes (tetra-paks), coffee cream cartons, foil serving trays, plastic jugs, and whip cream containers are recycled.