Saskatoon, Saskatchewan City Council recently voted in favour of a moderate phase-in of a curbside organics program and funding of existing waste services. Under the new program, a full-scale residential organics pick-up program will be in place in the City of 250,000 by 2023.

To pay for the organics program, property taxes will be increased incrementally over a four year period as follows:

  • 2020 – 1.0% Property Tax Increase – No change to current waste services.
  • 2021 – 1.0% Property Tax Increase – No change to current waste services.
  • 2022 – 1.0% Property Tax Increase – No change to current waste services.
  • 2023 – 0.93% Property Tax Increase – First year of curbside organics program. New waste service level (bi-weekly collection in summer).

This organics program attempts to balance financial investment with a view towards achieving the City’s waste diversion target. The first 1.53% (approximately $3 million) of the 2020 and 2021 Property Tax impact is solely dedicated to addressing the funding deficit in the Waste Program while the remaining estimated 2.4% will go towards a new curbside organics program. The City will continue to seek alternative funding sources on an annual basis to reduce this impact. Precise timing for the deployment of the curbside organics program in 2023 would be determined by the terms of the successful proposal from the organics RFP process.

In its report to City Council, the Administration stated that the implementation of a city-wide curbside organics program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the tonnes of organics that are landfilled. Reducing the amount of organics entering the landfill will also extend landfill life. The report stated that for each year without an organics program, between $1.1 million to $1.6 million in landfill airspace is consumed with materials that could be diverted.

“We will now focus on developing the implementation plan for the curbside organics program,” says Dan Willems, Acting Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer. “We look forward to providing this new service to residents in 2023 and making strides towards our waste diversion target.” 

Diversion Targets

The City of Saskatoon has a waste diversion target of 70% by 2023. In its report to Council, the City Administration was of the view that the target will not be met without significant resources being directed to diversion programs. The City Administration estimates that the curbside organics program in Saskatoon will result in an additional 13% waste diversion, subject to participation levels from residents. In order to meet the 2023 diversion target, the curbside organics program and other community waste diversion programs would need to be implemented by the end of 2023.

Analysis of the make-up of residential waste in Saskatoon

Saskatoon currently has an optional seasonal organics diversion program in place and has approximately 8,500 residential households participating. The program has seen greater than 10% growth over each of the last few years. This program currently diverts nearly 2,800 tonnes of material from the landfill annually.

The detailed report and all of its attachments can be found here