Waste to Energy Program

Res #: 10-20A
Number: 10
Year: 2020
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS provincial and municipal jurisdictions across Canada continue to struggle with waste management, specifically recycling and other waste programs. There is a strong public demand for recycling programs to divert waste materials from our landfills; however, the present programs suffer from high costs (administration, collection, sorting, etc.) and lack of markets for recovered material. Many of these programs have resorted to landfilling of “recyclable waste” in the past few years;

WHEREAS many groups and individuals continue to push our governments to reduce the use of packaging in order to reduce the waste being generated. These efforts include proposed bans on “single-use” plastics and plastic packaging in general.  However, most of these proposed bans are unlikely to result in a significant reduction in waste generation due to the positive economic advantages of using these plastic packaging materials. In short, we are not going to quit using plastic, so it would be better to find another way to recycle this waste;

WHEREAS the technology does exist to incinerate most waste (all non-metallic and glass waste) in a clean and efficient way to produce electricity. The collection and incineration of all combustible waste would virtually eliminate the need for municipal landfills. Continued use of lightweight plastics and other material would allow the existing systems for packaging, transport and protection of products to be maintained;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM begin a dialogue with  the provincial government and the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council to initiate a process leading to centralized collection and incineration of waste to produce electricity to help drive the provincial economy while at the same time solving many of our waste management issues.

Responses From: The Ministry of Environment

August 10, 2020

Saskatchewan’s Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP) was developed to provide sustainable funding for municipalities to collect and recycle household paper and packaging. The Government of Saskatchewan is aware of how changes to global markets for packaging and paper has caused significant challenges for municipal recycling programs.

To help address rising challenges and reduce the amount of waste in Saskatchewan’s landfills, the Ministry of Environment released a provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy earlier this year. The strategy commits to increasing accessibility to waste diversion options across the province and reviewing all waste stewardship programs, with the MMRP slated as the first priority. The strategy also focuses on innovative and sustainable solutions to manage waste, and emerging technologies such as waste-to-energy may offer future opportunities. The Ministry of Environment welcomes the opportunity to work with SARM, SaskPower, the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council and other
interested stakeholders to examine the opportunities and potential challenges with the incineration of certain materials, such as harmful air pollutants and management of resulting ash, which may be considered a hazardous substance.

Dustin Duncan – Minister of Environment