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Waste Diversion

Interested in participating in the City of Saskatoon's public engagement activities on Waste Diversion? Visit for the latest information.

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As part of 25 targets included in the City’s Strategic Plan the waste diversion target (70% diversion by 2023) will measure success in environmental stewardship through increasing the percentage of waste that is recycled, reused, or composted.

How are we doing?

In 2017, 23% of the waste handled by the City was diverted from disposal through programs such as the curbside and multi-unit residential recycling programs, the subscription food, yard and garden waste collection program, recycling and compost depots and Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) drop-off events.

Saskatoon Waste Diversion Rate
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 ...2023
Diversion Rate Target (%) 15.0 19.6 17.3 18.4 22.7 22.5 21.0 21.8 22.8 70

Saskatoon’s diversion rate is second lowest when benchmarked against other Canadian cities.

How Will We Get There? The Waste Diversion Plan

In order to begin moving toward the waste diversion target of 70% by 2023, work has begun on the development of a Waste Diversion Plan which will provide a long-term roadmap for Saskatoon’s waste management programs and recommend policies and initiatives.  

The development of the strategy involves three main phases:

Phase 1 – What is possible?

Waste Characterization – What’s in the garbage? 

Download the Waste Characterization Study - Summary of Key Results

Single Family Residential: What's in the black cart?

Multi-family residential: What's in the waste bin?

77% of waste sampled in residential black carts could be diverted from the landfill if new programs for diversion are made available.  In particular, 58% could be diverted by expanding organics programs and 61% of waste sampled in multi-unit residential waste containers could be composted (40%) or recycled.

Industrial, commercial and institutional: What's in the waste bin?

According to representative sampling, 56% of the waste generated by Industrial, Commercial and Institutional organizations could be composted or recycled. 

80% of waste sampled from loads self-hauled to the City Landfill could be diverted for composting or recycling. Up to 94% of construction and demolition waste currently being delivered to landfills in the Saskatoon region could be diverted at a recovery park at the Saskatoon Waste Management Centre.

Waste Opportunities Report

Download the Waste Opportunities Report

The Waste Opportunities Report provides a potential roadmap for Saskatoon’s waste management programs and recommends a schedule of policies and initiatives that Council could adopt to achieve full implementation. Shortlisted items include modifying the approach to financing solid waste (waste as a utility); changes to the Waste Bylaw; modifying collection frequency; disposal ban(s); a material recycling facility at the landfill; city-wide organics program for residents; enhanced data management systems; and ongoing education and awareness. 

Policy Approaches:
Waste as a Utility

The City is researching the expansion of the Waste Services Utility to potentially include the addition of a utility fee for waste management services. 

Waste Services Utility Design Options Report

Waste Utility Presentation 

Program Approaches: 
Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Strategy

There are approximately 6,276 ICI properties in Saskatoon which consist mainly of food, automotive, retail, and personal care services. The ICI locations are spread throughout the city and employ approximately 83,280 people on full time, part time and seasonal basis.  Industrial, commercial, and institutional waste makes up 66% of total regional waste in Saskatoon.  It is estimated that 22% of ICI waste is recyclable and 28% is organic waste.


Approximately 32% of total regional waste is organic. Keeping organic waste out of the landfill reduces the strain on garbage collection systems and increases the lifespan of landfills. It avoids the creation of harmful greenhouse gases and leachate that occurs when organic matter breaks down in landfills.

Organics Opportunities Report

Frequently Asked Questions

Phase 2 – Community Engagement - What is Supported?

Many of the topics within the waste diversion plan will require significant community conversations and engagement.  Engagement activities at this stage could include the establishment of numerous stakeholder-focused working groups and include activities such as a series of workshops/forums, surveying and on- and offline discussions. The goal of waste diversion engagement is to help residents and businesses understand waste diversion challenges and provide input into prioritizing potential solutions.  The output from waste diversion engagement will be a comprehensive report which outlines Saskatoon’s waste diversion options for Council’s future consideration. Public outreach and education will continue through the design phase if City Council chooses to advance toward implementation. 

Phase 3  – Decision Making - What is Justified?

Based on input from the Waste Diversion Engagement Report, and input from project stakeholders, the City of Saskatoon will develop a comprehensive Waste Diversion Plan for Council’s consideration.