Yorkton’s residential recycling: what changes you need to know about when recycling plastic

Recyclability and City of Yorkton

Canadians across the country are facing a major shift in how they recycle plastic. The Canadian government recently enacted legislation that bans single-use plastics, including grocery bags, Ziploc bags, and saran wrap. The new regulations target six categories of plastic commonly used but hard to recycle.

These six categories are: grocery bags; retail carryout bags; certain types of packaging such as pre-packaged take-out containers; food wrappers made from multi-layer plastics (sometimes referred to as “metallized” or “barrier” film); straws, stir sticks and cutlery; and six-pack rings.

How does this affect residents within the city of Yorkton?

Even though some of these items still exist within our community, they will no longer be accepted through the curbside collection, as well as at the drop-off sites around the city.

Recycling plastic bags will not become completely obsolete, here in Yorkton. Clear blue plastic bags will continue to be accepted and used for collection at the curb or drop-off sites.

What happens to your recyclables once they are picked up?

Recycling services are possible through partnerships in the industry. Curbside recycling collection is contracted through the Prairie Harvest Employment Program (PHEP). PHEP collects the recycling using a truck and trailer. Recyclable materials go to RecyclAbility Enterprises for sorting.

Bins and bags are dumped on to a conveyor and hand sorted by RecyclAbility Enterprises employees. It is important to remember, when non-recyclable materials are added to your recycling, this process can become difficult and time consuming as well as potentially dangerous to the employees. Non-recyclable materials that slip through the sorting can cause contamination in a load, resulting in it ending up in the landfill.   

By following these tips, you too can reduce your consumption of single-use plastics and help create a more sustainable future:
  1. Purchase items with minimal packaging and avoid unnecessary plastic packaging whenever possible.
  2. Use reusable bags for groceries and other shopping trips.
  3. Carry a reusable water bottle or thermos instead of buying single-use plastic bottles.
  4. Look for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws such as paper or metal ones, or opt to drink without them altogether.
  5. Avoid using disposable cutlery by carrying a set of spoons, forks and knives in your bag or backpack when eating out on-the-go.
  6. Choose to use reusable leftover containers or beeswax wraps for food storage instead of using plastic cling film or zip lock bags.
  7. Look for unpackaged produce and avoid pre-wrapped vegetables and fruits in plastic containers when possible.
  8. Buy items made from recycled materials to help reduce the demand for new plastics from being produced in the first place.
  9. Make sure any waste materials are disposed of properly by recycling, reusing or up-cycling them whenever possible.

The shift away from single-use plastics is essential for reducing emissions from materials that are difficult to recycle and detrimental to wildlife. The ban is an important step in protecting our environment and supporting sustainable development goals such as managing waste responsibly and reducing air pollution.

For businesses, the new regulations mean they must consider how to reduce their reliance on plastic packaging, and come up with alternatives that are more eco-friendly. It also means they will need to come up with ways to package their products in materials that can be recycled easier. For example, using paper straws instead of plastic ones or replacing polystyrene foam packaging with biodegradable options such as cardboard.

By working together, we can reduce plastic waste and create an eco-friendly province for all of us to enjoy. Let's make the commitment to play an active role in creating a sustainable future with less single-use plastics. 

Thank you for your support and for doing your part in helping our community work towards a better environment.