2023 Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Awards

SWRC is proud to present the 2023 Saskatchewan Waste Reduction 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 28th annual Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Awards ceremony was held on May 30th in Saskatoon as part of the SWRC and SWANA ReForum 2024 Co-Conference.

On hand to assist with the awards presentations was Warren Kaeding, Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Environment and MLA for Melville-Saltcoats (left side of most photos) and Kendra Leboldus  from SaskTel (center of most photos).

CORPORATION:  Acadia Consthree people one holding a wooden plaquetruction Inc.
A Saskatchewan-owned and operated construction company that has demonstrated remarkable leadership and innovation in sustainable construction practices. In 2022, Acadia acquired the necessary equipment, land, and permits to process and recycle construction waste. They accept a variety of materials, including concrete, asphalt, granite, and masonry products, which are then processed into graded aggregates for reuse in construction projects.

Acadia's efforts have led to the diversion of 85,000 metric tonnes of waste from landfills in 2023 alone. Their recycled materials have been utilized in numerous projects, including the construction of their new office and shop, which showcases the potential of recycled products in high-quality construction. Additionally, Acadia has been awarded a standing offer with the City of Saskatoon to manage concrete and masonry waste, further underscoring their commitment to sustainability.

FESTIVAL/EVENT: Affinity Credit Union - Zero Waste Program
three people one holding a wooden plaqueIn 2018, Affinity started its Zero Waste Program for local festivals in partnership with the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. Their mission has been to educate the community on environmental sustainability and actively reduce waste.

Since 2020, Affinity has independently organized and coordinated the Zero Waste Program at events like Foodtruck Wars, Pride Festival, and Wintershines (Soup Cook-Offs). Their initiatives have included providing compostable and recyclable materials to food vendors, staffing waste diversion stations, and innovating waste management practices. They created a Zero Waste Zone on Wheels and influenced policy changes for event organizers to promote sustainable practices. Their efforts have led to impressive waste diversion rates, such as 90% at Wintershines Festival.

MUNICIPALITY > 5,000: City of Saskatoon
three people one holding a wooden plaqueIn line with their 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, which prioritizes Environmental Leadership, the City of Saskatoon has successfully implemented a city-wide residential curbside organics collection program, known as the green cart program.

Launched in May 2023, the program distributed over 60,000 green carts to curbside residents, each equipped with a kitchen pail and information package.  In its first month, the program collected 3,123 tonnes of organic waste, surpassing the total collected in the entire previous year under the old subscription-based system.

By the end of 2023, more than 17,000 tonnes of organic waste were diverted from the landfill. Once fully operational for a year, the program is expected to divert over 20,000 tonnes annually, reducing the need for new landfill space and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 12,000 to 17,000 tonnes of CO2e per year. The organic waste is processed into nutrient-rich compost, further supporting environmental sustainability.

 MUNICIPALITY > 5,000: City of Regina
four people one holding a wooden plaqueImplemented a Food and Yard Waste Service. Approved by Regina City Council in 2018, this city-wide program officially launched in August 2023 after a successful one-year pilot.

Within the first month, participation rates were at 64%, with residents diverting 4,784 tonnes of organic waste by the end of 2023. This initiative is expected to save approximately 24,000 tonnes of waste from landfills annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10,820 tonnes per year.

This program is crucial, as studies show that organic waste constitutes about 50% of an average Regina resident's garbage. The program also promotes responsible waste disposal and extends the landfill's life to 2050.

We also wanted to add a special mention to the City of Regina for creating Saskatchewan’s first Household Hazardous Materials Depot. Launched on November 21, 2023, the Household Hazardous Materials Depot provides a vital service for the safe disposal of hazardous materials, ensuring they do not enter our landfills or waterways.

Located next to the landfill on Fleet Street, the Depot operates every Friday and Saturday. In the first year, the depot assisted around 30 residents per day and diverted 177 tonnes of hazardous materials, playing a vital role in the City’s goal of achieving a 65% waste diversion rate.

SMALL BUSINESS:  ReThink BioClean Sales and Service
seven people one holding a wooden plaqueBased in Regina, ReThink launched their Commercial Cleaning Liquid Refillery in 2021 to reduce plastic waste. They offer refillable tanks and a swap-out system for 20L pails of cleaning chemicals. By encouraging customers to save their empty containers for refilling, ReThink BioClean diverted 10,300 pounds of plastic from landfills in 2022 and 2023. Their zero-waste model eliminates the need for new plastic containers by setting up refill stations at customer sites, which are regularly serviced by their technicians.

Serving around 130 regular customers across Saskatchewan, primarily in the hospitality sector, the company also provides a mobile unit for bulk deliveries and partners with local equipment repair companies. With franchised locations in Brandon, Saskatoon, and Calgary, ReThink BioClean continues to expand its impact.

YOUTH/SCHOOL: Argyle Elementary School and MacNeill Elementary School
three people one holding a wooden plaqueBoth located in Regina, Argyle and MacNeill schools have demonstrated exceptional commitment to waste reduction through their participation in the City of Regina's Waste Reduction Week Challenge. Students from Grades 4-6 engaged in various innovative projects aimed at reducing waste and promoting sustainability within their community.

Their initiatives included a Zero Waste Lunch Project, where students created guidelines for packing sustainable lunches; a Recycling Campaign featuring awareness posters and a recycling drive; and a Composting Initiative with a comprehensive guide and school-wide composting program. Additionally, students put together an Upcycling Art Project, creating art from recyclable materials, and launched a Plastic Pollution Awareness campaign through multimedia presentations. They also conducted a Waste Audit and Reduction Plan, providing practical solutions for waste reduction, and promoted Waste Reduction Through Thrift Shopping to encourage sustainable consumption habits. They also highlighted the benefits of growing food to reduce waste.

sasktel logo

Thanks to SaskTel for their support of the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Awards.