Saskatoon Finally Going Green?

Officials say that Saskatoon will finally have a mandatory recycling program. At the rate Saskatoon is growing and producing waste, we will need a new landfill in 12 years at the cost of $75 Million.

Almost half of all waste going to the landfill in Saskatoon right now is organic material (43.5%). This is compostable waste that could be processed into fertilizer. A new organics facility in in the pre-design phase and is estimated to cost $7.2 Million. If all of this waste was diverted we would get an additional six to nine years of life out of the current landfill.

I am very supportive of the PRIVATE “Curbside Recycling Program” but it is a bit disappointing that this is a private program. Saskatoon is far behind so many other cities and the lack of mandatory recycling is unfortunate. Even cities like Prince Albert have 2 bins; one for household waste and one for recycling material. While it is not ‘mandatory’ per se, it is at least accessible for all households and easy to use. In other cities around the country and around the world they use clear plastic bags and each household is only allowed so much waste. By using the clear plastic bags, it can be monitored to show what people are throwing out and, if someone throws a cardboard box in the clear plastic bag, there are cities that will refuse to pick up the garbage that day. Saskatoon does have a long term waste diversion plan which would involve ‘user fees’  based on the amount of waste generated by each home and include this on a utility bill instead of in your taxes.

As a real estate agent in Saskatoon, one of the things I include in my ‘buyer’s pack’ upon possession (when a client gets possession of their new house in Saskatoon and area) is a flyer for Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. The other thing that I do to help the environment is I do not send out unsolicited flyers in the mail or contribute to junk mail.

I have tenants who moved from Ottawa to Saskatoon and one of their first questions was how to handle household waste. They were very accustomed to ‘green bins’ and they explained their city’s program to me. We could learn a lot from Ottawa and other municipalities that are doing such a good job of diverting garbage from the landfills. Lets hope that Saskatoon gets on board sooner than later and that the Saskatoon home owners cooperate to make our city a cleaner and greener city which is more attractive to people looking to move to Saskatoon.

Kari Calder
Residential Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

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