2022 Waste Minimization Awards
SWRC is proud to present the 2022 Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Awards, sponsored by SaskTel. Awards are given to Saskatchewan individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to reduce waste, and in doing so, are an inspiration to others.
The 27th annual Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Awards ceremony was held on May 25th in Saskatoon as part of the SWRC's ReForum conference.
On hand to assist with the awards presentations was Henry Mutafya from SaskTel (left side of photos), and Was Kotyk from the Ministry of Environment (right side of photos).
CORPORATION: PCL Construction Management Ltd. - Urban Camp Project
The Urban Camp facility will provide housing and support programming for 50 inmates. The low security facility includes living and dining areas, cultural program, classroom and office space for residents, staff and visitors.
In 2022 the project diverted 86.5% (129,600 kg) of waste from landfill by:
- Diverting general construction waste with waste separation, recycling and reuse
- Coordinating with suppliers to reduce waste products at the source in advance of shipping to site (reduce packaging, transportation waste, etc.)
- Reusing soil gathered during piling to backfill within the building footprint
- Using a reusable concrete formwork system to minimize plywood waste
- Recycling all unused waste concrete with a facility that utilizes concrete waste for aggregates
- Recycling, repairing and reusing existing items identified for demolition (old storage sheds, etc.).
FESTIVAL/EVENT: Ness Creek Music Festival
Ness Creek Music Festival operates three ‘eco-centres’ to collect deposit beverage containers, as well as compostable items. The festival is bottled water free, with water bottle filling stations available to the attendees, and encourages attendees to bring their own reusable mugs. They also implemented a ban on glow sticks and glitter through a multiyear engagement strategy starting in 2018. The festival routinely hits a waste diversion rate of over 90% for beverage containers and between 60-75% for all festival materials combined.
INDIVIDUAL: Amy Richter, PhD
Amy's doctoral thesis contributes to the development of evidence-based waste policy and improves sustainability of land disposal. Amy has developed an algorithm to optimize the design of waste management regions that could reduce collection and transportation costs. She also developed a method for ranking landfill sites for expansion based on their area of influence. Amy has published over 50 other publications related to waste management. She uses this strong background in data-driven approaches to waste management in her role as a Senior Waste Management Coordinator with the Government of Saskatchewan. She contributed to the development and implementation of environmental code chapters for transfer stations and compost facilities, and to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Strategy.
MUNICIPALITY (>5,000): City of Saskatoon
The City of Saskatoon created the first bylaw in Saskatchewan requiring businesses and organizations to divert both recyclables and organics from landfill. It requires them to:
- Have separate labelled containers for garbage, recycling and organics
- Educate employees and tenants annually about which materials are recyclable and how to sort them
- Ensure waste is removed and taken to an appropriate facility
Along with the new bylaw, educational resources and ongoing support are available to aid in the sector’s diversion efforts.
PARTNERSHIP: SARCAN and Call2Recycle
Saskatchewan residents can now drop off their used batteries at any of the 73 SARCAN locations to be recycled with Call2Recycle. Their joint network collected almost 52,000 kgs of end-of-life batteries over two years, helping exceed the provincial battery collection targets for two years in a row. They collaborated in 2022 to create and launch the “League of Super Recyclers” campaign, aiming to encourage younger generations to recycle and care for their environment. They also created a 15-second video displayed in a loop on screens in SARCAN’s recycling centres highlighting the importance of recycling batteries and how easy recycling can be with Call2Recycle at any SARCAN site.
SMALL BUSINESS: Sustain Market
Sustain Market (formerly Bulk Basket) was a low-waste store and local market here in Saskatoon. They specialized in bulk foods and sustainable household products including bulk and refillable detergents, soaps, deodorants and essential oils, as well as plastic-free cleaning supplies and oral care products. Customers bought bulk products using containers brought from home, free jars that were dropped off by other customers, or recycled paper bags.
They’d recently partnered with Crocus Hill Garden to offer a compost program that primarily targeted those without access to the Saskatoon green bin program like condos and apartments. They estimate that the program diverted 336 gallons during the summer!
Sustain Market also implemented many waste reduction practices including:
- Composting waste from their smoothie bar
- Collecting items for Terracycle programs
- Reusing liner bags from bulk food deliveries as garbage bags
- Using mason jars for liquids in online orders and charging a deposit to encourage their return and reuse
- Collecting jars, mugs, tote bags and reusable produce bags for various free exchange programs
With the news of their closure in 2023, we’re happy to be able to present this award to celebrate all of the work Sustain Market did to reduce waste in Saskatoon over the years.
SCHOOL: Douglas Park School Green Team
The Green Team discussed waste minimization with Minister of Environment Dana Skoropad and decided to focus on the waste generated by Halloween candy wrappers. Students were encouraged to sign a pledge to bring their candy wrappers to school. Using funds from beverage container deposits, the Green Team ordered a Terracycle box and collected an estimated 2,500 wrappers.
Another initiative was to minimize waste over the holiday season. They created a YouTube video on Waste-Free Gifts with the goal to minimize waste and maximize cheer. Students also collect paper and recyclable materials from each classroom during recess and transfer them to the main recycling bin. This diverts approximately 3,850 pounds each school year.
Thanks to SaskTel for their support of the Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Awards.