Waste Plan Regina (WPR) provides direction for the City of Regina’s (City) solid waste programs and services for both residential and non-residential sectors.
In 2015, after City Council received an annual update on WPR, it was resolved that, every year, the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee would receive a report on WPR’s annual results and future initiatives.
This report summarizes the 2019 operating results and achievements, as well as outlines initiatives planned for 2020 and future years. The Waste Plan Regina - 2019 Update is included as Appendix A.
The City’s waste diversion programs are part of an integrated solid waste management plan for the collection and disposal of waste, which ensures protection of the natural environment by following provincial regulation and best practices.
Waste Plan Regina aligns with Design Regina: The Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2013-48 (OCP). The continued implementation of WPR directly contributes to the OCP priorities, specifically:
· Section D4, Goal 4 – Conservation and Environment, “Design infrastructure that conserves resources and minimizes impacts on the environment”.
Continued implementation of WPR contributes to achieving the OCP’s Community Priorities and alignment with other municipalities by encouraging the City to embrace leading practices for waste management.
There are no accessibility, financial, risk/legal, or other implications.
Public awareness and education campaigns focused on the City’s solid waste programs and waste diversion will continue in 2020. The Waste Plan Regina - 2019 Update will be posted on Regina.ca.
Overall the amount of residential waste generated has decreased by three per cent since 2018. Results suggest that residents are reducing waste, and therefore disposing of less garbage and recycling at the curb and at the Landfill. The percentage of waste diverted from the Landfill remains at 19 per cent. An increase in material dropped off at the new Yard Waste Depot was balanced by a similar decrease in material dropped off at the Landfill, contributing to the static diversion rate.
Curbside Collection Services
On average, blue carts were set out for collection 76 per cent of the time (20 out of 26 collection days per year) and were 66 per cent full. This data shows that the curbside recycling collection service is operating at a capacity that serves most residents.
On average, brown carts were set out for collection 67 per cent of the time. Historically, the volume of residential garbage decreases in the winter months. From November to March, garbage is collected biweekly, with return to a weekly schedule for a three-week period over the holiday season. On average, garbage carts are 67 per cent full on collection day during weekly and biweekly garbage collection. This data shows that the curbside garbage service is operating at a capacity that serves most residents. Residents that cannot manage their garbage within the biweekly garbage collection schedule can add a supplementary brown cart for a fee.
Residents that receive curbside collection services can see their collection schedule and sign up for reminders on the City’s website. As of December 2019, 30 per cent of single-family households have signed up to receive waste reminders. Out of all North American cities that provide the same waste reminder service, Regina has the highest percentage of households signed up for reminders.
Administration began development of a curbside food and yard waste pilot program in 2019. The service will launch to almost 2,800 households in the spring of 2020. The service is ‘scrape the plate’ meaning that all food scraps including meat, bones, dairy, and greases will be accepted. The pilot will run for a year and will be used to gain feedback from residents on collection schedules, waste sorting practices and education materials, and will identify processing challenges. City-wide service will be implemented in 2023.
In 2019, the City implemented new waste programs to increase waste diversion and operational efficiencies. Examples include:
- The permanent Yard Waste Depot opened in the spring. It is located south of the Landfill and open seven days a week from April to November. Residents dropped off more than 2,660 tonnes of yard waste – more than triple the amount dropped off at the community depots in 2018.
- The first ever Pumpkin Smash event took place last fall. About 300 residents watched their pumpkins fall from a height of 70 ft. Over 1.3 tonnes of pumpkins were turned into compost.
- The City entered into an agreement with SARCAN Recycling to pilot an option to recycle non-refundable glass. Residents now have the option to put their non-refundable glass in their blue cart or take it to SARCAN. In 2019, 29 tonnes of glass was recycled through this partnership.
In 2019, the City’s drop-off depots diverted a total of 3,602 tonnes of yard waste, household hazardous waste, Christmas trees and cardboard from the Landfill, compared to 1,745 tonnes in 2018. This is a 106 per cent increase.
Public Outreach and Education
Last fall, the City launched the CartSmart Program to educate households on proper waste sorting practices and to recognize residents who are sorting their waste correctly. Blue carts at 2,657 households were visually assessed to determine if there were any unacceptable or bagged items. Carts that were compliant received a ‘Good Job’ sticker, while those that had errors received an ‘Oops’ tag identifying their mistakes.
During Waste Reduction Week, the City partnered with the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council to offer a Repair Café. This was a free event where skilled volunteers helped residents fix broken items that would otherwise be thrown away. Over 50 items were repaired and diverted from the Landfill.
The City also encouraged the public to ‘Reach for Reusables’ to encourage the reduction of single-use items such as disposable coffee cups and plastic shopping bags.
Moving Beyond Residential Waste
In June, the City launched the City-Owned Facilities Recycling Pilot Project. Multi-stream waste sorting stations were installed at 12 City-owned facilities, giving employees and the public the opportunity to compost, recycle and keep most waste out of the Landfill. Within the first six months of the pilot, the waste diversion rate increased from 10 to 47 per cent. This pilot project will help form a recommendation to Council on the development of future waste management policies for the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) sector.
New at the Landfill
Operational efficiencies implemented at the Landfill in 2019 such as soil usage tracking, new equipment, GPS implementation and waste diversion saved approximately 100,000 cubic metres of space. This is a 46 per cent reduction compared to the space used in 2018.
In 2019, construction began on the Waste Management Centre located east of the Landfill. The new facility will centralize waste operations and associated programs. It will provide efficient operational facilities to ensure employees have access to space and equipment that allows them to provide the best possible service to residents. The Waste Management Centre will also house an 800 square foot Waste Education Room that will offer interactive learning for classrooms, community and corporate groups.
Waste Plan Regina Initiatives
Over the next few years, the roll out of WPR’s Enhanced Residential Services will continue and development of diversion initiatives for non-residential sectors will begin.
Upcoming initiatives include:
· Curbside Food and Yard Waste Pilot Program - implementation
· Waste Education Room at the Waste Management Centre – development and implementation
· Permanent household hazardous waste service – development and implementation, pending the new provincial stewardship program
· Waste diversion opportunities at the Landfill
· City-wide Curbside Food and Yard Waste Program – development and implementation
· Curbside waste services funding policy – development and implementation
· City-Owned Facilities Recycling Project – City-wide implementation
· Waste diversion policy development for the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional and Construction and Demolition sectors
Ongoing initiatives include:
· Operate Household Hazardous Waste Days, pending the implementation of the new provincial stewardship program
· Continue CartSmart Program and review options for expansion to enforcement
· Operate Yard Waste Depot
· Continue Public Education and Outreach
· Monitor and evaluate diversion programming
Administration continually monitors changes to the waste industry, both locally and internationally, to inform program decisions. Recent changes include:
- The Government of Saskatchewan is developing a province-wide household hazardous waste management program. Industry had until the end of 2019 to submit a plan to the Province on how they propose to handle household hazardous waste going forward.
- As a result of China’s strict purity standard (the National Sword) on imported recyclable material, it has become increasingly difficult for recycling processors to find markets for their recyclable materials. Some municipal programs have stopped accepting certain materials such as #1 plastics and plastic bags because their contracted processors cannot find buyers for these materials.
- In June, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environments (CCME) approved the first phase of the Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Waste. CCME is working with stakeholders in the development of the phase one action areas.
- Further changes are anticipated at both the federal and provincial levels and Administration will continue to develop initiatives to address the changing environment.
In 2011, City Council approved the Waste Plan Regina Implementation Plan (CR10-147), which recommended implementing the Enhanced Residential Service Level Option for the residential sector. It set a diversion goal of 65 per cent by 2020. City Council also adopted the Extended Services Level for the non-residential sectors.
In 2015, Administration responded to a City Council motion (Motion #14-3) with a report that included an annual update on Waste Plan Regina initiatives (PWI15-2). It was resolved that, every year, the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee would receive a report on WPR’s annual initiatives, results and future plans.
In 2017, the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee forwarded the 2015/2016 Waste Plan Regina Update (PWI17-7) to City Council for information. City Council received and filed the report (IR17-3).
In 2018, the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee forwarded the 2017 Waste Plan Regina Update (PWI18-11) to City Council for information. City Council received and filed the report (IR18-9).
In 2019, the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee received and filed the 2018 Waste Plan Regina Update (PWI19-5).
The recommendation in this report is within the delegated authority of the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee.
Respectfully Submitted, Respectfully Submitted,
Kurtis Doney, Director, Water, Waste & Environment
Kim Onrait, Executive Director, Citizen Services
Janet Aird, Manager, Program Development & Delivery
Ericka Bourlon, Waste Diversion Officer
Appendix A: Waste Plan Regina – 2019 Update