Recycling Costs

Res #: 10-06A
Number: 10
Year: 2006
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Environment

Resolution No. 10-06A

WHEREAS, many rural municipalities are involved with recycling of paper and other goods in their areas; and

WHEREAS, the cost of gathering and shipping paper bales is more than the value of the product; and

WHEREAS, Saskatchewan Environment has been aware of this problem since its Paper Product Stewardship Report, of 2001;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM petition the government of Saskatchewan to institute a method of compensating the municipalities for at least their costs of handling paper products.

Response from Honourable John T. Nilson, Q.C., Minister of Environment:

Saskatchewan Environment promotes recycling where there is a benefit to the environment. Recycling of the materials identified in this resolution is not a legislated requirement; the decision to recycle these waste streams has been left to the regional authority or municipality. The department believes that recycling must make sense from environmental, economic and social standpoints. The evaluation of these factors is often best made at the community level.

Saskatchewan Environment provided one-time grant supporting regional waste management totaling $700,000 during 2005-06 to help sustain recycling operations and retire debt accumulated during the 2004-05 fiscal year. The department is not in a position to provide further interim support; however, solid waste management continues to be a priority for the provincial government and is an important component of the Green Strategy.

Saskatchewan Environment is working with all stakeholders to develop a province-wide solid waste management strategy, which will include a multi-material recycling program. Decisions surrounding recycling should be made with economic responsibility in mind, as well as other benefits that recycling provides. Recycling reduces the amount of materials going to the landfill and provides jobs to the community. There is an economic benefit to the community because the need to invest in development of landfills and costs of operation of landfills is reduced. In addition, recycling operations create jobs in the community, in many cases for physically and socially challenged individuals. These benefits should be taken into account when communities are determining whether recycling programs are a financial burden or a benefit to their residents.