2019 Waste Minimization Awards
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC) is proud to present the 2019 Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Awards, sponsored by SaskTel. Awards are given to Saskatchewan individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to reduce their own waste, and in doing so, are an inspiration to others.
Typically, we hold a ceremony at our annual Waste Reforum Conference where we announce the Waste Minimization Award winners and present them with their awards. We aren't able to have an in-person ceremony this year so we uneventfully mailed everyone their awards to accept in the comfort of their home or office.
Corporation: Ministry of Central Services
Palliser Hospital was demolished in 2018/2019 following multiple unsuccessful attempts to reuse or sell the property. The eventual demolition was the result of several steps of removing all items of reuse value from the building beforehand; utilizing community organizations and internal government organizations that wanted mechanical and electrical equipment, tools, filters, lights, etc. The Ministry of Central Services, with the support of a local recycling company, were able to demolish the building, reclaim the site and salvage or recycle approximately 97% of the material, diverting over 11,000 tonnes from the Swift Current landfill and saving more than $1 million in tipping fees.
INDIVIDUAL: Austin Coleman, Regina
Austin lives and breathes for waste reduction. Not only does he work at SARCAN Recycling, a huge contributor to waste reduction, but in his off time he is obsessed with making sure that the waste in Regina is making it to the right place. He spends his time going around the city and personally cleaning up neighborhoods.
He dedicates his time to making sure our community is clean and waste free, and uses his time to share his knowledge with others with hopes that they too will pick up waste next time they see it. Austin teamed up with the City of Regina to make an informational video on how to use the curbside blue bin.
Austin also goes door-to-door to hand out information and give in-person sessions to homeowners to help them process their waste more efficiently, and if you can’t take a session when he shows up but still want to learn, he will set up a time where he can come back and make sure you get the knowledge that you are looking for.
FESTIVAL/EVENT: ReVamp Upcycled Art Show, Saskatoon
For the past eight years, the ReVamp Upcycled Art Show in Saskatoon has showcased the beauty that can be found in creative upcyclng. Each year, the show curator, Melissa Squire, invites five to ten artists to produce art from a minimum of 95% recycled or reclaimed materials. The artists are directed to choose materials, processes and techniques that are both environmentally and socially conscious.
The show includes an opening reception featuring local performers and musicians. The art remains on display in the Alchemy Collective space for two months. By composting the food and beverage waste and reusing or recycling marketing materials and signage for the opening reception, the show committee has ensured that the event has been zero waste every year.
YOUTH/SCHOOL: The Douglas Park School Green Team, Regina
The Green Team at Douglas Park School in Regina was created by 20 students in 2018. They give up their afternoon recess every day to collect the school’s recyclable plastics and paper. Since its formation, the Green Team has diverted an estimated 4,077 pounds of recyclable plastics and paper from the landfill. They also manage a vermicompost bin for food scraps.
The Green Team also took on the task of educating fellow students, developing videos on how to recycle properly, visiting classrooms at lunchtime and giving out rewards for recycling. They are also working on recruiting Grades1-4 students to join the Green Team so that their legacy and efforts will be carried on.
MUNICIPALITY: City of Regina
The City of Regina initiated the GREEN Routine – a pilot program to reduce employee waste that involved expanding diversion options, centralized recycling/compost stations and extensive peer-to-peer encouragement from a well-trained Green team. The pilot buildings went from 10 percent diversion to 47 percent over the pilot period.
The City of Regina also replaced their pop-up compost collection events with Permanent Yard Waste Depot. The 55,541 sq ft Depot is adjacent to the Fleet Street Landfill with a separate entrance, so residents can access the site at no charge. Large bunkers accommodate unloading materials. In the first year they diverted 2660 tonnes of organics, which is six times the volume over previous years at the pop-up events.
PARTNERSHIP: City of Saskatoon, SARCAN, City of Regina
Although household glass is accepted in curbside recycling programs in Saskatoon and Regina, 90 percent of it is broken before it reaches the recycling plant and can’t be recycled. SARCAN Recycling accepts beverage container glass in its system. Because the glass is collected separately, it can all be recycled.
The Cities of Saskatoon and Regina partnered with SARCAN on a pilot program to allow residents to bring household glass to SARCAN depots. By the end of 2019, Regina and Saskatoon had collected a total of over 139 tonnes of household glass from 760,798 customer visits. Saskatoon reports that its share of glass recycled through the pilot program was greater than the amount of glass recovered from its curbside cart program. The pilot program has been deemed successful and will continue.
SMALL BUSINESS: The Wandering Market, Moose Jaw
Moose-Jaw based The Wandering Market delivers locally-grown produce and products to Saskatoon, Regina, Herbert, Waldeck, and Swift Current. Most of the deliveries are in coolers or recycled boxes. During the deliveries and pickups, customers return many items to be reused including jars, bags, buckets, egg cartons and boxes.
The business encourages their producers to use compostable packaging that is composted by a small business in Moose Jaw. In addition, every Saturday, The Wandering Market has a sample day in which all of their sample cups and cutlery go to the compost.
The Wandering Market also hosts a monthly Repair Café in Moose Jaw which began November 2018. Over 300 items have been repaired and saved from the landfill. Participants include children, parents and even grandparents work together to repair many items including buttons on clothes, replacing zippers on jackets, repairing headsets, lamps, bicycles, toys, antique furniture, etc.
Thanks to SaskTel for their support of the Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Awards.