“As Saskatchewan communities continue to grow, reducing the amount of waste going to local landfills will help us maintain the quality of life we enjoy in the province,” Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said in a statement to media. “It is estimated that more than 40 per cent of the household waste going to landfills today can be diverted into recycled products, improving our environment while creating new business and employment opportunities. That amount is equivalent to about 112,000 tonnes or 52,700 pick-up trucks.”
The MMRP will provide the framework to fund the collection and recycling of household materials including printed paper, newsprint, cardboard, plastic, metal and glass packaging in the province. With the regulations now in place, Multi-Material Stewardship Western Inc. (MMSW), representing industry, will work with municipalities and other stakeholders to develop the recycling program. MMSW is similar to those organizations that have been developed for waste paint, used oil, scrap tires and e-waste. Industry has the legal responsibility under the regulations to manage and fund the MMRP.
Within 180 days (on or before August 6, 2013) MMSW will present to the Minister of Environment for his approval a product management plan on how the recycling program will be structured, funded and managed. Once the product management plan has been approved, implementation of MMRP can proceed.
“As an advocate of environmentally-sound waste reduction programs, the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC) applauds industry, municipalities and government in the development of these regulations,” SWRC Executive Director Joanne Fedyk said. “We look forward to the implementation of the multi-material recycling program for Saskatchewan.”
The responsibility of managing and financing recycling programs for these materials is being transferred from the taxpayer to industry and consumers. Municipalities that currently collect recycling are covering 100 per cent of the cost. Once the MMRP is established, industry will contribute up to 75 per cent of the costs to deliver an effective and efficient program. Municipalities that choose to participate in MMRP will be responsible for the remainder of the cost to operate a recycling program in their community. Municipalities will also be able to decide the type of collection system for their community – curbside pickup or a central depot, depending on the size of their community and the associated costs.
The actual cost to industry will be determined in the plan; however, it is expected that the financial implications to industry will be minimal and most likely charged back to the consumer. For example, in other Canadian jurisdictions with similar recycling programs, the costs to newspapers range from less than one-quarter of a cent to one cent per paper produced. Depending on the size of the newspapers’ distribution, some may be exempt from paying fees entirely.