SARC Annual Report 2023 - 2024

Page 1

SARC Accreditated Through Imagine Canada

Advocacy in the Disability Service Sector

Provincial Partnership Highlights

HR/LR Consulting Trends

SARC’s Workforce Development Strategy

Facility Planning - The Year of the Renovation

Education & Training’s Record Breaking Year

COMPASS Training Package Highlights

Showcasing Supported Employment in Saskatchewan

SARC’s Group Programs Highlights

SARCAN Year at a Glance



A Message from SARC’s Board President and Executive Director

It is our pleasure to present SARC’s Annual Report for the Financial Year April 1, 2023-March 31, 2024. While our annual report is one of the accountability tools we use on an annual basis, it also provides us with the opportunity to reflect on and formally capture some of the key events of the year gone by. This year’s annual report is filled with articles and photos expressing the many values that guide and give meaning to our work. Certainly, you will see accolades and accomplishments, creativity and innovation, and our endless pursuit of the highest quality standards, but you will also find evidence of our continued pursuit to achieve the 60 goals and 4 overarching priorities set out in SARC’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan:

1. Risk Stewardship

2. Growth and Innovation

3. Enhancing the Customer, Member, and Employee Experiences

4. Operational Excellence.

SARC has existed as an association since 1968 and in 1988 SARC established SARCAN, its recycling division. Throughout the years numerous dreamers, strategists, and exceptionally hardworking, dedicated people have helped shape the organization we have today.

In 2023, SARC was approached by the Government of Saskatchewan to help identify individuals who have made substantial contributions to Saskatchewan’s Disability Service sector in the areas of Community Inclusion, Person Centred Practice, Supported Employment, or Leadership. On June 23, 2023, along with the Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister of Social Services, SARC awarded 107 individuals with Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals.

We were also asked to help facilitate the selection of individuals who have made a strong contribution to environmental stewardship and an inclusive space for all employees and customers. On September 27, 2023, SARCAN joined former Environment Minister, MLA Warren Kaeding, in awarding 55 people with Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals.

While incredibly worthy, these 162 medal recipients only represent a miniscule percentage of the people that have made substantial contributions over the years.

For 55 years, SARC has remained an essential and evolving role in supporting our Members operating in the Disability Service sector and other Human Service sectors, and, for 35 years, SARCAN has provided the people of Saskatchewan with a recycling service for which all Saskatchewanians can be proud. In an era when big business and industry continue to encroach on more modest businesses, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the best recycling system in Canada, while providing meaningful, fulfilling, and inclusive employment. We are thankful for the visionaries and maintain pride and the highest dedication to excellence of the Association and recycling system that was envisioned and created many years ago.

“In an era when big business and industry continue to encroach on more modest businesses, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the best recycling system in Canada, while providing meaningful, fulfilling, and inclusive employment.”

On behalf of SARC’s Board of Directors and Leadership Team, thanks to everyone who previously has passed the baton and to those who continue this most worthwhile marathon with us. We look forward to the future of SARC and SARCAN and thank you for your continued confidence.

The SARC Board of Directors

Valerie BuddPritchard President

South Region Regular Manager Representative

Moose Jaw Diversified Services

Unita Esau

North Region Regular Board Representative Multiworks Corporation

Rosa Smith Vice President

South Region Associate Manager Representative

Clare Parker Homes

Wilda Wallace

North Region Associate Board Representative

Prairie Branches Enterprises Inc.

Board Committees

Executive Committee

Valerie BuddPritchard, Committee Chair

Rosa Smith

Cameron Nicolle

Lionel Prefontaine

Jenna Moore

Cameron Nicolle Secretary Lionel Prefontaine Treasurer

North Region Regular Manager Representative Valley Action Abilities External Appointment

Donald Salie

North Region Regular Board Representative

Battlefords Trade & Education Centre Inc.

Lloyd Montgomery

South Region Regular Board Representative

Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop Corp.

Jenna Moore

South Region Regular Board Representative

Wheatland Regional Centre Inc.

SARCAN Committee

Jenna Moore, Committee Chair

Cameron Nicolle

Donald Salie Member Services Committee

Rosa Smith, Committee Chair

Wilda Wallace Unita Esau Finance/

Lionel Prefontaine, Committee Chair

Lloyd Montgomery

SARC Accredited Through Imagine Canada

In October 2023, SARC was very proud to receive accreditation under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. This milestone was achieved after many months of work and with the support of the SARC Board’s Accreditation Oversight Committee.

With this achievement, SARC has joined a distinguished community of more than 270 organizations across the country committed to accountability, governance, transparency, best practices, and operational excellence.

The Standards Program is a Canada-wide set of shared standards for charities and non-profits designed to help organizations strengthen their operations in five fundamental areas:

• board governance

• financial accountability and transparency

• fundraising

• staff management

• volunteer involvement

The process, although lengthy and somewhat resource intensive, was an incredibly worthwhile endeavour. We were very pleased to receive commendation for the strength of our application and evidence package, with the reviewing panel reporting being “particularly impressed by your (SARC’s) attention to fair and equitable practices, as well as by your efforts in developing systems and processes that provide consistency for your work and decision-making.”

SARC is proud to display the Imagine Canada Standards Program Trustmark and proud to continue to support our Members in the important work they do.

Advocacy in the Disability Service Sector

Throughout 2023-2024, SARC and the Advocacy Committee continued working toward the goals under the four pillars of the Advocacy and Lobbying Framework:

Compensation Funding

Funding for employee salaries and benefits continues to be SARC’s biggest area of advocacy, as per Member direction. Based on a 2023 AGM resolution passed by Members, the 2023 MLA Information Package included comparisons of job duties and total compensation packages of the Disability Service sector’s Direct Support Professional (DSP), the Health sector’s Continuing Care Assistant, and the Group Activities Aide employed in homes supporting people experiencing disability that are directly staffed and operated by the Ministry of Social Services.

The 2024-2025 Provincial Budget provided an additional investment toward sector employee compensation. While appreciated, it fell short of the goal to bring the DSP’s salary in line with these other comparable positions.

Non-Salary Funding

Based on a 2023 AGM resolution passed by Members, SARC’s particular areas of focus for non-salary funding were Transportation, Maintenance, and Technology as they pertain to community inclusion, accessibility, safety, and organizational capacity and efficiency. The need for investment to support core operational costs was shared at the MLA meetings held throughout summer and fall 2023.

The 2024-2025 Provincial Budget provided an additional investment toward the non-salary side of Members’ budgets, but additional investment is necessary in order to bring more stability for the ongoing management of CBOs’ operational needs.

As a result of implementation realities related to The Residential Services Act, 2019 (effective January 1, 2023), SARC also discussed the complexities surrounding Members’ needs and costs for non-owned auto insurance coverage due to the heavy reliance on employees using their personal vehicles for work. Through these discussions, the Ministry of Social Services has committed to doing some work to explore potential costs and solutions. The Ministry has also committed to future discussions on another area of costly yet necessary insurance coverage – abuse liability.

Sector Promotion

SARC launched its year-long Start With Hello media campaign in May 2023 (which will continue through March 2025 thanks to an additional investment by the SARC Board of Directors).

In June 2023, SARC also hired a new position –Workforce Development Coordinator – to more purposefully engage with various stakeholder groups in order to raise awareness of the Disability Service sector and the careers within it. See page 13 for more details.

Educational Standards

SARC undertook research to assess educational standards for the Disability Service sector across Canada and internationally, as there currently is no stated minimum standard in Saskatchewan.

Research revealed that stated educational standards are rare in any jurisdiction for this sector. Across Canada and internationally, there is a heavy reliance on on-the-job-training after the point of hire, something that SARC Member organizations do very well.

This research set the stage for discussions at SARC’s April 2024 Member Update Meetings, and additional work to gauge the Membership’s agreement toward a stated minimum education standard is yet to come.

Provincial Partnership Highlights

The Provincial Partnership exists through a formally signed agreement between the Minister of Social Services and SARC. In place since 1997, its purpose is to come together on areas of mutual interest/concern in the name of improvements and sustainability within the Disability Service sector. The Provincial Partnership Committee, which consists of representatives from the SARC Board Executive and senior leadership staff as well as the Ministry’s Assistant Deputy Minister-Disability Programs and senior leadership staff, meets quarterly to exchange information on areas of work impacting the sector, discuss the needs of CBOs, and identify potential strategic initiatives in support of service delivery. Examples of work over the years include the establishment of the Comprehensive Personal Planning & Support Policy (CPP&SP), the Saskatchewan Basic Standards, and consultant services available through SARC.

Highlights of the 2023-2024 year include:

• The impact of legislative and contractual requirements related to non-owned auto insurance.

• Resolution #5 from SARC’s 2023 AGM, calling upon the Government of Saskatchewan to develop an intersectoral framework to support collaboration and address service gaps impacting people experiencing disability.

• Strategic planning discussions on ways to further support person-centred service delivery.

• CPP&SP Review – the CPP&SP Committee began work to evaluate and consider revisions to the appendices (to update language, create linkages to the Person-centred Framework, etc.), look at ways to improve ease of use for people and their families, and gain a better understanding of how service providers are training their employees on the policy.

• Addition of Person-centred Culture Committee to Partnership framework – this committee, which has been in place for several years now, became a subcommittee of the Partnership in light of continued strategic discussions around supporting person-centred service delivery and wanting to find ways to maximize resources/capacity for related projects while also avoiding duplication of work between the two groups.

• Updates on the Outcomes Based Service Delivery pilot.

• Saskatchewan Housing Corporation arrangements and leases – discussions due to questions posed by SARC Members related to costs, their ability to be involved in the design process, SHC rules, etc.

We would like to take this opportunity to bid farewell and a happy retirement to Bob Martinook, Executive Director of Community Living Service Delivery with the Ministry of Social Services. Among his many roles and activities, Bob has served as Co-Chair of the Provincial Partnership for several years. Bob, thank you for your contributions and leadership at the Partnership table, as well as many others, as you’ve dedicated your career to quality of life and community inclusion for people experiencing disability.

Human Resources/Labour Relations Consulting Trends

SARC’s two consultants supported our Regular and Associate Members with a variety of human resources and labour relations issues and initiatives. It was another busy year, marked by the following trends:

Collective bargaining

Negotiations continue at a consistent pace regarding the broader labour environment within the sector. 2023-2024 saw SARC’s Senior Labour Relations Consultant represent Member organizations in concluding nine collective agreement settlements with their respective employees and unions, securing stability in operations in order to best serve the people they support.

Medical Accommodation and Documentation

Accommodations in the workplace are inherently common and vary from the short-term to longterm depending on the circumstances. What seems to be an increasing trend is securing the appropriate medical documentation from employees to substantiate their accommodation requests. The Medical Certificate Templates in SARC’s online Manager Resources Area are useful tools in these situations.

Discipline and Performance Management

Issues continue to arise from time to time with employee conduct and performance deficiencies; 2023-2024 was no different. SARC’s consultants are always available for a quick check-in as management navigates various scenarios, as rectifying misconduct issues and having clear performance expectations are key to quality service delivery.

Collective Agreement Interpretation

Collective agreement interpretation and application is of fundamental importance in unionized workplaces. There has been an increase in inquiries related to clarification and interpretation matters, which is viewed positively as this clarification/reassurance as to the meaning of the collective agreement will hopefully limit future liabilities to grievances and operational disputes.

Succession Planning

In the Disability Service sector, succession planning plays a crucial role in optimal service delivery. As an employee in a leadership role retires or takes leave, it’s essential to have plans in place to ensure continuity of services. As recruitment and turnover challenges increase, succession planning becomes even more vital for sustaining effective service delivery in this sector and can help with smooth transitions during times of absence in a role.

Recruitment and Retention

Recruitment and retention stand out as particular challenges for SARC Members. The task of attracting high-calibre applicants to the sector and subsequently retaining them through effective engagement and compensation strategies poses significant strains on these organizations.

Notably, talent pools are yielding fewer qualified candidates, and the volume of applicants that are seeking jobs with no relevant interest in the sector, or as a stepping stone only, has increased.

Retention directly intertwines with recruitment, as the current talent pool’s

caliber and size often result in mismatches with organizational culture. With a reduced pool of suitable candidates, organizations face heightened difficulty in retaining employees who may not align with the sector’s requirements and values.

Although engagement efforts are being tailored to diverse workplace demographics, their efficacy hinges on the desire of applicants to remain within the sector. Without this intrinsic motivation, or the extrinsic motivator of comparable wages to other sectors, such endeavours risk being ineffective and can affect the bottom line of service delivery.

SARC’s Workforce Development Strategy

Supporting Recruitment and Retention in the Disability Service Sector

The 2023-2024 fiscal year saw the first year of SARC’s Start With Hello campaign, an advertising campaign supported by a $400,000 investment by the SARC Board of Directors to raise general awareness of the value of the Disability Service sector but also of career opportunities in the sector.

Just after the campaign launched, SARC also hired a new position – Workforce Development Coordinator – in order to more purposefully engage with various stakeholder groups to draw more job applicants to the sector. These efforts utilize the Start With Hello brand as well, and although building and maintaining public awareness is a long game we have been pleased with the level of engagement so far.

Over the last several months, SARC has established many connections and partnerships as part of our Workforce Development Strategy. While we’re happy to spread our message and connect with anyone who would be interested, we have focused the majority of our efforts on audiences involving high school, post-secondary, and adult education students; Indigenous groups; newcomers to Canada; people experiencing disability, and those just entering or re-entering the workforce. Our efforts are about widening the talent pools for the workforces of today and tomorrow.

Some examples of our partner outreach included: school divisions across northern, central, and southern Saskatchewan; YWCA Saskatoon; Quint Development; Saskatoon Open Door Society, Regina Open Door Society; the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre; the Regina District Industry Education Council; the University of Saskatchewan; the University of Regina; the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and Saskatchewan Indian Training Assessment Group; the Oyateki Partnership (SIIT, Gabriel Dumont Institute, and the University of Saskatchewan); CNIB’s Come To Work Program; and the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campuses and affiliates.

In November 2023, SARC was invited to attend the University of Saskatchewan’s Inaugural Indigenous Students’ Career Fair!

SARC was vetted by the Indigenous Student Council before being extended an invite to attend.

SARC was honoured to be part of their first career fair and looks forward to a continued partnership.

Through these relationships, SARC’s Workforce Development Coordinator was kept busy with a number of career fairs, presentations, and career spotlight opportunities as part of these partners’ various events.

Within SARC’s resources and capacity, we will continue to explore avenues and relationships that could improve employee recruitment through the sector, as this remains a top concern for our Members.

Red Cross Grant Supports Online Job Board

A significant initiative for the 2023-2024 year was the development of a job board that is now connected to our Start With Hello website – a project made possible with the support of a Red Cross grant through its Community Services Recovery Fund.

The job board was developed based on feedback we were getting from most of our partner organizations and schools that it would be a lot easier for job seekers if there was one place they could go to see job opportunities for the sector across the province.

We had also been hearing from Members that vacancies are on the rise, that it’s harder to recruit, and that posting on typical online platforms isn’t garnering much for applications, so we thought if we built something for the sector and attached it to our paid advertising campaign for Start With Hello, anyone who clicked on those ads or were otherwise directed to Start With Hello would have instant access to the sector’s current job opportunities.

This job board is now the focal point of our partner outreach and all of the career fairs, presentations, and other activities that we will continue to pursue on behalf of the Disability Service sector. With some partners having access to thousands of job seekers, we are hopeful that it will lead to improved connections between people interested in working in the sector and our Members in 50+ communities across Saskatchewan.

Facility Planning

The Year of the Renovation

Support for renovation projects, capital planning assessments, accessibility recommendations, and building inspections were some of the key services provided by SARC’s Facility Planner this past year. Just over 50 SARC Members received these specialized services from SARC in 2023-2024. Members spend concentrated efforts to maintain their facilities in good condition as a reflection of their high level of commitment to service and their reputation.

Planning for renovations was a highly sought after service this year, with 18 SARC Members reaching out for support with their renovation projects. Some of these renovations were large multi-phased projects that included renovating the entire building. Existing commercial buildings were transformed into beautiful day programing spaces or an existing house converted to an accessible home. Others were smaller projects where support was needed to construct a wheelchair ramp to current accessibility requirements or to rejuvenate a washroom to modern standards. Renovation projects that are well planned tend to be more successful, with fewer delays and overruns.

Keeping building facilities in good condition is a priority for all SARC Members, and they are taking the time to plan their renovations and capital replacements. Priorities often determine which areas are renovated or which capital items are to be replaced next. Safety of residents and employees, licensing requirements, and code requirements are the top priorities when it comes to forming a renovation plan. Replacing end-of-life items to keep the building functioning in good condition can also lead to opportunities to find creative solutions to maximize the level of support for people using the buildings.


Replacing an entire home is becoming more difficult, and improving existing homes may be a better alternative. The practice, for the past number of years, has been that Saskatchewan Housing Corporation is building new group homes and renting them to CBOs to operate. With fewer opportunities for CBOs to build their own group homes, renovating and keeping up with capital replacements are key to maintaining group homes for many more decades of service.

For the past several years, SARC’s Facility Planner has been inspecting homes for capital planning purposes. This year, 37 homes were inspected for a building condition assessment. Capital items in each home were rated and a suggested timeline was given as to when to replace those items. These inspections are often the starting point of the renovation process. A need is identified, and funds are allocated through the capital budgeting process. Discussions start about next steps, options are explored, and planning for a renovation or capital replacement begins.

Between 2016-2018, most of the group homes in the province were inspected by SARC for the Ministry of Social Services’ Residential Capital Inventory Project. Members are requesting updates on their building condition assessments to incorporate past changes to their buildings and anticipate future upgrades in their capital plan. Many group homes are being inspected again, after the typical five-year interval. It is always great to see the changes made since the previous inspection. Renovations and upgrades stemming from capital planning budgeting are becoming more common. SARC’s collection of before and after photos is increasing! It is rewarding to support SARC Members in the continual process of maintaining their buildings in good condition and expanding potential with capital upgrades and renovations.

BRSI replaced the kitchen cabinets in one of its group homes as the original cabinets were well past their useful life.

SARC Members Register a Record-Breaking Number of Employees for Professional Development

Thanks to our SARC Members, it was another busy education and training year!

SARC continues to facilitate training in-person, inhouse, and live virtually to nonprofit professionals, as well as offer several online, on-demand programs.

SARC’s Facilitators Kept Busy!

Our Facilitators were once again on the road delivering training to groups of employees at SARC Member organizations across the province.


Increase in registrations from last fiscal year

2022-2023: There was a total of 2,292 people registered for 1 or more of SARC’s training programs.

SARC Facilitators delivered several virtual and in-person learning opportunities to SARC Member organizations including Mental Health First Aid, NTG Dementia, Progressive Discipline, the Duty to Accommodate, and Personcentred Essentials.

News from Up North – the Value of Training

Did you know that most of SARC’s training programs are available virtually or in-person to take at your organization?

Check out to learn more.

2023-2024: There was a total of 2,937 people registered for 1 or more of SARC’s training programs.

Most Requested In-house Sessions: Mental Health First Aid and Person-centred Essentials!

We recently sat down with Kennedy Bonneau, the Executive Director of NSN in La Ronge, to talk about the impact that training has had on their organization. Over the last year, NSN employees have been busy completing a variety of in-person, in-house, and online training, and they’re seeing the benefits! Kennedy says since taking training, the organization’s culture has improved, employees’ confidence has increased, they are using the tools they learned, and they better understand how to provide person-centred supports. Kennedy went on to say that they are grateful that some of the training was at no-cost (under the COMPASS Training Package) and other programs were at the SARC Member discounted rate, making SARC’s training affordable and accessible.

increase of out-ofprovince organizations accessing SARC Online Training Programs. 13.16

COMPASS Training Package* Highlights

A 12th Program was Introduced Under the COMPASS Training Package This Year!

Record-Breaking Participation (for 2023-2024)

Inspired: Leading Person-centred Support is intended to provide nonprofit boards of directors, executive directors, and senior leaders with the opportunity to reflect on and assess where the organization is in its personcentred philosophy and approach. Organizational leaders are able to then identify areas or ways in which person-centred practice can be built on and strengthened, as it continues to evolve and progress.

Inspired is a one-year subscription that can be renewed annually at no-cost to COMPASS-eligible organizations. Take the module or modules you want, when you want to – the choice is yours!

Inspired consists of the following modules:

1. Person-centred – Not Just Another Buzz Word!

2. Your Role in Person-centred Leadership

3. Embedding Person-centred Practice in Organizational Direction and Strategy

4. Embedding Person-centred Practice in Operations and Management

5. Strengthening Teams through Person-centred Practice eligible organizations participating

ELEVATE - Best Practices in Board Governance

ELEVATE is a user-friendly online leadership program specifically for boards of directors and executive directors in the nonprofit sector.

ELEVATE is flexible – this modular-based program can be accessed whenever, wherever, and in whatever order you choose! This program is a great way to strengthen your knowledge of governance best practices, better understand roles and responsibilities of the board, and build a high-performing board!

ELEVATE is a one-year subscription that can be renewed annually at no-cost to COMPASS eligible organizations. Sign up today!

*All Regular and Associate Members as well as Affiliate Members that have CLSD funding are eligible to take COMPASS programs at no cost. There are registration limits for certain programs.

Please visit for more information. Please note that most of SARC’s training programs are also available for purchase if an organization is not eligible to access them at no cost through COMPASS.


This year marked Leap’s 10th Anniversary and saw 24 senior leaders graduate

Showcasing Supported Employment in Saskatchewan

Supported Employment Transition Program (SETI) funding is provided to community-based organizations to help them assist people to prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment while also engaging employers to hire people experiencing disability and build inclusive cultures within their workplaces.

Third Year’s a Charm for SETI

The 2023-2024 fiscal year started out differently than previous years for SETI. Due to the timing of the contract process within government, it was recognized that there would be one additional fiscal year before the next multiyear process. Since all six funded projects had been successful in meeting or exceeding their outcomes for the two years prior, the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training approved them to be extended for one additional year.

This third year for the funded projects was a great success with the projects not only meeting but, in many cases, exceeding targets set for the SETI outcomes of Work/Job Readiness, Career Decision-Making, Skill Enhancement, Work/ Job Search, and Work/Job Maintenance. At the beginning of the fiscal year, the six projects had targeted to support 134 people, but by year-end they reported supporting 183 people to prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. Of those 183 people, 161 either achieved employment, maintained a job secured from the previous year, or a combination of both. The remaining 22 people supported by the projects were either students specifically engaged for the purposes of employment education/preparation or people in the process of employment preparation/ search at the time of year-end.

SARC remains thankful to the Ministry of Immigration and Career Training for funding the SETI program and looks forward to another multi-year process that will assist people experiencing disability to contribute to Saskatchewan’s labour market.

EmployLink Promotions

The EmployLink website continues to be a go-to for resources for job seekers and employers and can link both to service providers who have employment professionals throughout the province. Two different month-long multi-faceted media campaigns took place with the tag line of “It pays to be inclusive” to drive people to the website. During the fiscal year, we aired commercials with our wonderful partners at Farm Credit Canada, SaskTel, Juliana Pizza, and Humboldt Sobeys.

DEAM and NDEAM 2023

In partnership with SARC, Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) was once again proclaimed by the Province of Saskatchewan for October 2023, coinciding with National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Across Saskatchewan, SARC Members held events to recognize employers in their community who were already experiencing the benefits of hiring inclusively. SARC also coordinated a couple of great events:

Wing Night

This event in Regina had both employers and employees from Farm Credit Canada and SaskTel share how working for or being an inclusive employer had benefited them and their organizations.

Colby Nargang, a talented Regina entertainer who experiences disability, performed and rocked out the night with the group.

Light It Up! For NDEAM

The third year of this one-night national inclusive employment awareness campaign as part of NDEAM saw 147 communities with 641 locations across Canada light up in purple and blue lighting the night of October 19.

SARC coordinated Saskatchewan’s participation, which saw 20 communities with 90 locations joining in, an increase from the 16 communities and 70 locations the year prior.

CASE Recognizes Saskatchewan Business

SARC partnered with Humboldt and District Community Services to nominate Humboldt Sobeys for the 2023 Mark Wafer Award for Business Excellence through the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE). David and JoAnn Doepker, the owner/operators of Humboldt Sobeys, have been committed to hiring people experiencing disability for over 20 years and they also encourage others in their community to become inclusive employers.

We were pleased to see David and JoAnn presented with this national award at the 2023 World Association for Supported Employment Conference in Vancouver, BC in June 2023 in front of 600 delegates from across the globe. What a great home-grown Saskatchewan supported employment success story!

SARC’s Group Program Highlights

SARC sponsors various group programs to provide a ‘bulk customer’ advantage for SARC, SARCAN Recycling, and SARC Members related to coverages, terms, and pricing.

Benefits Plan

• Sun Life launched a free and easy-to-use Organizational Health Assessment.

» This assessment takes less than 5 minutes to complete and covers 5 key factors: leadership and culture, organizational practices, programming, communication, assessment, and ongoing evaluation.

70 organizations

96 divisions

1,900+ employees

• Enhancements to the claim submission flow on the My Sun Life mobile app were launched.

» Includes notifying the plan member if a doctor’s referral is needed, providing the option to upload documents via the app, and notifying the plan member if an existing referral is about to expire.

• Coverage was expanded for Continuous Glucose Monitors (came into effect as of November 8, 2023).

» Under our standard EHC plan, individuals with Type 1 diabetes already had access to CGM coverage. To help plan members and eligible dependents manage their health, coverage was expanded to include those with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin (with appropriate medical confirmation).

• SARC is going to market with the benefits plan in 2024 to ensure due diligence and fiduciary responsibilities are met, as well as to ensure participating organizations are getting the best possible benefits program we can offer. As part of this marketing process, SARC is also reviewing current plan design and looking at possible and available enhancements. Late in the year, we will also be engaging with participating organizations for feedback.

Lumino Provider Search

200 unique vistors


87 connections to providers

Lumino Resources & Offers

Lumino Health Centre


SARC is the Administrator of a multi-employer defined contribution Pension Plan available to Member organizations and SARC/SARCAN Recycling.

• For the year ending March 31, 2024 the Balanced Fund, which holds the majority of the plan member funds, had a one-year return of 11.3%, with a 9.5% return over 4 years.

• The second largest concentration of plan member funds is in the Target Date Funds, which had a one-year return of 12.7% and an 11.1% return over 4 years.

• There was an investment management fee reduction for plan members effective January 1, 2024, which reduced fees for all funds.

• Co-operators launched new online videos to assist plan members in learning about target-date funds and retirement income planning.

• A simplified single sign-on process for secure member web access and a refreshed web portal will be launched in 2024. A mobile application is also in development.

Employee Assistance Program

41 organizations

2,225 employees

85 cases

3.82% utilization vs. 2.77% last year

SARC Insurance Program

• Lifeworks transitioned to TELUS Health.

68 organizations

100 divisions

4,900+ individual plan members

$129 million in assets

• Online scheduler launched to simplify self-booking and help drive higher EAP engagement rates.

» Allows employees to select preferred counsellors and suitable appointment times based on their specific needs.

» Available 24/7.

• Counseling was top service used by participating organizations.

• Most common issues were related to stress/anxiety and communication/conflict resolution.

• Tele-counseling was the most popular way of accessing support.

The SARC Insurance Program had another successful year, marked by strategic negotiations and comprehensive coverage offerings. Below is an outline of the current state of the insurance market and insights into our three key coverage programs.

Insurance Market Trends:

In examining the insurance landscape in Canada for 2024, there are some noteworthy trends to consider. Firstly, there is a noticeable shift towards a more buyer-friendly marketplace for most sectors. While rate increases persist, they are occurring at a slower pace compared to the previous year. These increases are driven by factors such as rising claims costs, inflationary pressures, and evolving risks like natural disasters and cyber threats. While this shift brings a sense of optimism, it’s important to exercise caution amidst these changing dynamics.

Secondly, while the SARC Insurance Program remains unaffected by this trend, Abuse Liability coverage in the marketplace has seen notable rate hikes, added conditions, and increased deductible limits. The risk associated with this coverage remains under close scrutiny, and its availability continues to be limited.

Cultivating strong relationships with insurers, upholding our longstanding insurance programs, and adopting proactive risk management practices remains pivotal in navigating market trends. These are fundamental to securing favourable insurance terms for the SARC Insurance Program.

Individual Coverage Programs:

The SARC Insurance Program currently comprises of three individual coverage programs that address specific risks faced by Members:

Property and Liability Insurance – 46 participating organizations:

This program provides protection against property damage and bodily injury resulting from accidents or negligence, covering buildings, contents, equipment, and liability exposures. In 2024, we were successful in negotiating a modest 3.5% rate increase, which positions us favourably within the market, as it falls at the lower end of the spectrum compared to other insurers. Additionally, in response to the changing needs of participating organizations, liability coverage has been broadened to encompass operations related to caring for youth experiencing disabilities. Furthermore, enhancements to Coverage Extensions have also been made, with no additional premium costs associated with either improvement.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance – 83 participating organizations:

Designed to address legal claims arising from alleged wrongful acts by the organization, this program safeguards against breaches of fiduciary duty, negligence, mismanagement, and employment related liabilities. This year marks the second year of our current term, and we are pleased to report that the policy continues to perform well. By maintaining stability in coverage and pricing, we are strategically positioned for future negotiations when we initiate discussions for the next three-year term.

Cyber Insurance – 29 participating organizations:

In response to escalating cyber threats globally, this program provides essential coverage against losses stemming from cyber attacks, including data breaches, network failures, and cyber extortion. Despite slight rate increases attributed to heightened frequency and severity of losses worldwide, the insurer’s proactive risk management measures have mitigated significant rate hikes, preserving coverage consistency for participating organizations.

As we navigate the ever-changing insurance landscape, the SARC Insurance Program remains dedicated to providing thorough and competitive insurance options. By staying vigilant, adaptable, and continually improving our risk management strategies, we strive to keep participating organizations protected against evolving risks now and into the future.


Year at a Glance

Recycled over 501 million beverage containers from April 1st, 2023 to March 31st, 2024 – 1.6% increase over last year.

84% of all beverage containers sold in Saskatchewan last year were returned to SARCAN.

Over 1.6 million customers visited SARCAN through the 2023-24 year!

Depot relocations to bigger, brighter, and better facilities in Redvers, Watrous, Gull Lake, Biggar, and North Saskatoon.

Enhanced and updated our employee training course catalogue, offering 65 training courses and 57 continuous learning sessions with over 17,000 hours of training completed by SARCAN employees.

225,000 Drop & Go transactions were completed by account holders who reported a 98% satisfaction rate.

43,000 unique users logged into their Drop & Go account through

Fundraising through Drop & Go was a popular option, with active Drop & Go Group accounts rising to 5,700.

SARCAN Recycling

SARCAN’s 2023-2024 year was another phenomenal, recordbreaking year, bringing in the most volume in a single year over our 36-year history! With 1.6 million customer visits and an 84% return rate, SARCAN is once again among the top recycling systems in Canada.


In addition to beverage containers, SARCAN recycled

The impact of these returns is astounding. Paint Electronics Batteries Non-deposit glass


Over 40 million lbs of valuable materials were diverted from landfills in 23-24, being fed back into the production cycle instead Recycling this material saves enough energy to power each home in a city the size of Yorkton for an entire year!

Creating Building Our 1,034,417 Lbs 3,393,992 Lbs 882,651 Lbs 96,080 Lbs

With over 1 6 million customer visits over the year, an incredible amount of money flowed back into the communities we serve On top of that, local organizations, sports teams, and clubs raise thousands of dollars each year through bottle drives!

Green Careers Communities

SARCAN’s success allows our organization to create meaningful, rewarding, green careers for people in Saskatchewan of all abilities With over 900 employees across the province, SARCAN is one of Canada’s top inclusive employers!

Collection and Processing Review

SARCAN Recycling’s provincial network of 73 collection depots was abuzz this past fiscal – April 1st, 2023 to March 31st, 2024 – as Saskatchewan residents made recycling trips to their local SARCAN for a total of 1.6 million customer visits, making it another wildly successful SARCAN year. We know. We’re really going to start sounding like a broken record the way we keep talking about breaking records, but it has happened yet again! Those millions of customers brought with them a total of 501,913,551 beverage containers, which is the highest volume ever collected – and the first time going beyond half a billionby SARCAN in a single year throughout our 36-year history!

These astonishing returns work out to a recovery rate - containers returned vs containers purchased in the same period –of 84%. Not only is this one of the highest recovery rates in Canada, but it also means that millions of pounds of resources were recovered, preventing them from ending up in our landfills and waterways, 38.5 million pounds (lbs) to be precise.

That is quite impressive in and of itself, but we’ve only painted part of the picture so far. SARCAN also collects household paint on

behalf of ProductCare, end-of-useful-life electronics on behalf of EPRA, and dead household batteries on behalf of Call2Recycle (Recycle Your Batteries, Canada?). On top of the record-breaking pile of beverage containers, our depots collected 4.5 million lbs of these materials!

Oh, my, we almost forgot (we divert so much, it’s hard to keep up!): Our internal diversion initiatives also kept an additional 1.6 million lbs of household glass and tin, cardboard boxes, clear plastic film, caps, and more from ending up in landfills. That is over 43 million lbs of valuable materials diverted from our environment and put back to good use – talk about a massive impact!

Drop & Go

Just as our overall volume has grown year after year, so too does the popularity of SARCAN’s line skipping service, Drop & Go, which is a convenient return option for customers who have trouble finding the time to recycle with SARCAN. In 2023-2024, users of the service reported an all-time high level of satisfaction, with 98% of them saying that they were satisfied with their Drop & Go experience.

The satisfying and convenient return option of Drop & Go, no doubt, contributed highly to the overall success of the SARCAN system over the year. Drop & Go is SARCAN’s best tool for encouraging customers to stop recycling

containers in their blue bins and start recycling them at their local SARCAN depot instead. Last year 37% of Drop & Go customers reported that they ‘binned’ (blue or black) beverage containers and this year only 33% said that, demonstrating that Drop & Go is still moving containers from the bins to the depots.

Further contributing to the record returns, over 148,000 Drop & Go users made ‘drops’ through the year for 225,000 transactions, or 14% of SARCAN’s total transactions. What’s more, of those 148K accounts, 5,700 of them are Group Accounts, which allow community organizations to run or enhance their bottle drive fundraisers with Drop & Go. With these accounts, groups and clubs use a “Group Phrase” that can be shared publicly. Anyone with the Phrase can enter it on all SARCAN Drop & Go Kiosks across the province to donate beverage containers to the group. And they are quite a hit! Our favourite example is from SARCAN’s charity of choice, TeleMiracle, who raised an outstanding $94,159! With bottle drives that big, it’s no wonder we hit a half billion containers last year!

SARCAN Processing

We’ve mainly been looking at things through the lens of our collection depots, but on the flip side of the SARCAN coin are our Processing Plants in Saskatoon and Regina. These plants act as the central hub of the SARCAN system, distributing supplies to the depots and hauling their collected materials back to the plants. Once at the plants, those containers go through an additional quality assurance sort completed by the plant employees, ensuring the materials are pure and free of contamination before being baled and prepared for further transport.

With 73 depots spread across the province, you can imagine the scale of this system. Through this last year, on average, just under 100 trailers a week go from depot to plant carrying 850,000 lbs of material!

it can be used once again in the manufacturing cycle. All of this material is highly valuable, but none are more valuable than the materials that contribute to a circular, container-to-container cycle such as aluminum and plastics. These materials are able to be used over and over again, without losing quality, to be turned right back into new beverage containers.

In 2023-24, over 19 million lbs of aluminum and plastic, which account for 89% of all beverage containers collected, were shipped from our plants to downstream markets, with the majority turned back into containers, contributing to and strengthening these circular economies. Not only do these closed loop recycling systems make sense economically, but they also dramatically decrease the manufacturing industry’s environmental impact, lowering the reliance on mining raw materials for production.

We continue to enhance and refine this process each year, and in 2023-24, we saw a 2% increase in trailer loading efficiency, meaning that although we took in a record-setting level of material, we managed to transport that material using fewer trucks, lowering our environmental footprint significantly.

After being processed and prepared, we are left with a pure feedstock of precious resources that can be shipped to downstream markets where

Enviromental Impact

The environmental impact of the SARCAN system is extraordinary. By recovering these materials and feeding them back into the production cycle, we helped avoid over 50,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gases from being emitted, which is the equivalent of pulling over 10,000 vehicles off the road. The energy saved by recycling at SARCAN is equal to the energy required to power an entire city for an entire year!

These record-setting return numbers and environmental impacts from 2023-24 are not only mind-bendingly big, but also a true testament to how committed and passionate the people of our province are towards a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable Saskatchewan.

Among those people, none are more committed and passionate about those goals than our very own employees. Each and every one of those hundreds of millions of containers were handled by our employees, ensuring a steady and valuable feedstock of material for the manufacturing industry. All of SARCAN’s success can be traced back to the incredible hard work and dedication of the recycling teams at each of our facilities who count, sort, flatten, package, process, and ship the materials that come through our doors. A huge thank you to all SARCAN employees who have helped us crush it in the recycling game!

All of this culminates to a reliable, robust, and progressive organization that helps build, strengthen, and support the communities in our province; provides meaningful, rewarding, and inclusive careers to hundreds of Saskatchewan residents; and is recognized nationally as one of the top recycling systems in the nation.

Yeah, you could say it was a pretty great year for SARCAN!

Celebrating Our Employees

We know we just mentioned this, but we believe in it so much it is worth repeating: our employees are amazing! They’re dedicated, hardworking, and loyal, showing their unwavering commitment through their years of service with SARCAN. To honour their commitment, SARCAN hosts an annual Employee Recognition Day. It’s a special occasion where we come together as a team to celebrate our employees’ achievements and express our gratitude.

In October 2023, we had the privilege of recognizing 122 employees who reached milestones in their years of service, including some who reached an incredible 35 years with us. It was a heartfelt and joyful celebration of our employees’ dedication and contributions to our organization. Their commitment is truly inspiring, and we are grateful for their continued dedication.



5-year recipients received an aluminum loon on a lake of marble

15-year recipients received a framed print of a painting by Jenny Buyaki (long-term Assiniboia SARCAN depot employee)



10-year recipients received a watch with the SARCAN logo

20-year recipients received a gift of their choice (either a SARCAN ring or a crystal sculpture)

25, 30, and 35-year recipients received a cheque in recognition of their years of service

2023 recipients – 1,834 years of service!!


5 15years = 20 recipients (300 years of service)

20 years = 39 recipients (195 years of service)

25, 30, & 35 years = 10 recipients (200 years of service)

years = 18 recipients (180 years of service)

25 30 R

years = 11 recipients (275 years of service)

years = 8 recipients (240 years of service)

35years = 9 recipients (315 years of service)

etirees = 7 (129 years of service)

Employee Investment

The key to SARCAN’s success has been the amazing team of over 900 dedicated SARCAN recyclers across the province. As an organization, we are committed to developing the skills, abilities, and confidence of all employees. SARCAN’s employee development initiatives enhance the existing capabilities of our amazing team of SARCAN recyclers and also helps our team develop new competencies and abilities.


SARCAN’s online employee development platform is called Aspire. Through their online Aspire account, SARCAN employees have access to a wide variety of training experiences and continuous learning opportunities. Aspire is also an integral part of SARCAN’s onboarding process for new employees, providing them with a pathway to becoming a knowledgeable, safe, and confident recycler.

The current Aspire course catalogue consists of 65 training courses. Employees throughout the system completed over 6,130 training courses over the past year, for an incredible total of 17,186 hours of training provided through Aspire.

Aspire is also home to CAN’ned Wisdom, SARCAN’s continuous learning information sessions. Since 2016, we have hosted 57 CAN’ned Wisdom presentations on SARCAN and the wider world of recycling and environmental protection.


Inspire is SARCAN’s training and development platform specifically for Supervisors at SARCAN facilities. With an Inspire online account, Supervisors upgrade their skills and abilities

related to leading the work of their team of recyclers. Inspire is also a key platform through which SARCAN trains people who are new to supervisory duties and is being used for succession planning and career laddering.

Inspire is a key piece of SARC and SARCAN’s strategic goal of developing the leadership skills of SARCAN Supervisors, and we have plans for expanding the training opportunities provided through Inspire over the next three years.

There are currently seven training courses available on Inspire. In 2023-24, SARCAN Supervisors combined for a total of 314 course completions, or, to put it another way, 1,967 hours of training provided by the platform.

Psychological Health & Safety

SARCAN is dedicated to creating workplaces that are psychologically healthy and safe. We know that preserving psychologically healthy and safe workplaces benefits all of our team members and can have a tremendous effect on employees’ health, morale, work-life quality, and ability to perform to the best of their abilities. Part of our commitment to demonstrating leadership in psychological health and safety is providing our teams with training, education, and resources on leading occupational mental health and safety practices. SARCAN’s suite of psychological health and safety training experiences includes the following training experiences:

• An Introduction to Psychological Health and Safety

• Mental Health First Aid

• Respectful Workplaces

• Managing Stress in the Workplace

Cyber Security

Canadian businesses are facing a growing number of sophisticated cyberattacks each year, and SARCAN is not immune to this phenomenon. Cyberattacks can have a very severe and long-lasting financial impact on a business like SARCAN. That is why this

year we launched Essential Cybersecurity awareness training for all SARCAN employees. This training, taken through our Aspire platform, teaches employees how to identify and address cyber threats like cyber-attacks, data hacks, and phishing activities. This training has been shared with all current SARCAN employees and is also part of the onboarding process for new SARCAN employees.

Digital Literacy Training

We concluded another round of Digital Literacy Training in early 2024 that consisted of live, online classes led by SARCAN as well as Brainstorm, a well-established third party IT Training platform. There were 20 Beginner students and 86 Brainstorm students. The Beginners attended the live classes online

by using an Information & Communication Technology pack issued to them, while Brainstorm students independently followed a learning path of curated Brainstorm courses. We met our three stated objectives: enhance digital proficiency in our students, overcome the student self-identified barriers, and evaluate and refine the training.

The development of Digital Literacy Training is an iterative process. We build, refine, and improve the training based on suggestions and lessons learned from previous rounds. In this year’s round, we divided the Beginners into many small groups (our highest number ever) to facilitate learning and paired Beginners up from around Saskatchewan to create connections between SARCAN communities.

The majority of Digital Literacy Training participants have found success and experienced many achievements. Through the feedback loops with our participants, one student mentioned that the training was life-changing, and another stated that they overcame their barriers by learning week after week. There were Supervisors in the Brainstorm group who found the courses informative, and a couple specifically mentioned an increase in confidence because of taking the training.

Improving the SARCAN Experience

The SARCAN Recycling system continues to grow and expand in many dynamic ways. Expanding our system creates more efficient facilities for our recycling teams to work within and convenient spaces for our customers to recycle in. The work we’ve undertaken to expand the SARCAN system demonstrates our commitment to innovation and continuous process improvement.

Relocations & Upgrades

SARCAN’s Capital Development Team was hard at work this past year as they relocated five SARCAN depots in the 2023-2024 fiscal year to bigger, brighter, and better facilities.

The SARCAN depot servicing the northern part of Saskatoon relocated on April 3rd, 2023, to a large new facility in the Marquis Industrial Area (Kochar Avenue). The new depot features a TOMRA conveyor system, a larger customer reception area, expanded Drop & Go space, a dedicated space for counting bulk and Drop & Go orders, and expanded parking for customers.

On January 15th, 2024, the Watrous SARCAN depot relocated to a brand-new building, conveniently located across from the Watrous arena. This relocation increased the size of the facility to accommodate the community’s growing returns and included upgraded flattening equipment as well as more space for its bulk customers.

The Redvers SARCAN depot relocated on October 8th, 2023, to a brand-new building. This new depot is much larger than the previous Redvers depot and has more space to welcome customers and greater capacity for serving bulk customers, such as bottle drive fundraisers, restaurants, bars, and businesses.

SARCAN’s depot in Gull Lake relocated on February 9th, 2024. The new depot is more than twice the size of the previous depot, with much more natural light, more space for Drop & Go, and a much larger processing space for the team to sort, compact, and ship collected materials.

The SARCAN depot in Biggar relocated to a larger space on March 22nd, 2024. The new depot is a significant upgrade from the previous location for both the SARCAN team in Biggar, with a brighter, more spacious customer area and more space for Drop & Go visits.

Equipment Upgrades

Drop & Go

As our customers’ preferences have changed, we are committed to upgrading and expanding Drop & Go capacity across Saskatchewan. Expanding Drop & Go entails:

• Replacing cart-based Drop & Go installations with separate, full room installations.

• Expanding Drop & Go rooms.

• Doubling customer tagging capacity.

• Improving employee counting stations.

This year SARCAN also expanded the functionality of My Drop & Go, the customer-facing web portal that customers use to interact with their accounts and track their orders. My Drop & Go now includes a breakdown of the mix of containers for each customer’s transactions, similar to the receipt they would get from the front counter, increasing the transparency of transactions. My Drop & Go was utilized by 43,000 unique users this past year.

Installing modern, high efficiency equipment has led to more efficient SARCAN facilities.


SARCAN continues to incorporate TOMRA conveyor systems in some of our largest depots. These conveyor belt systems move aluminum cans and clear PET plastic bottles from counting chutes directly into high efficiency flatteners. These conveyor belt systems lead to less material handling by SARCAN Recyclers and quicker visits for customers.

So far, TOMRA conveyor systems have been incorporated into the Regina Parliament, Saskatoon Jasper, Saskatoon Kochar, and Warman SARCAN depots.

Container Compaction

Efficient container compaction leads to SARCAN depots fitting more materials on their trailers. Container compaction is a very important process at SARCAN depots because it has a tremendous impact on our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and fuel use.

We continue to invest in high efficiency flatteners. SARCAN currently has 121 flatteners across the collection network, including 26 Nexgen flatteners, our highest efficiency flattener.

Processing Conveyor Systems

The Regina Processing Plant saw a significant upgrade in its processing capacity. Two new plastic conveyor systems were installed into the Plant last year. This upgraded equipment significantly increases the processing speed for plastic containers.


SARCAN continues to shift our fleet of forklifts from propane to electric-powered models. This past year SARCAN added 4 new electric forklifts to our growing fleet of battery powered lifting equipment. This shift towards an electric fleet is important to SARCAN because battery-powered models produce less emissions, have lower maintenance costs, have lower fuel costs, and create less noise.


SARCAN operates our own customer-facing Video Display Advertising (VDA) system. This captive audience communications network allows SARCAN to share important messages with our customers whenever they visit their local SARCAN depot. VDA systems also share messaging from partnering stewardship organizations, such as Call2Recycle and EPRA Saskatchewan.

81% of SARCAN depots have a VDA system installed as of March 31, 2024, with plans for all SARCAN depots to have a VDA system installed by December 31, 2024.

Community Engagement

At SARCAN, we know that drinks aren’t only getting consumed in our homes. Something else we know, thanks to our market research, is that people are less likely to recycle their beverage containers when they aren’t at home. To that end, SARCAN continues to engage with Saskatchewan communities to help support and promote responsible recycling habits, not only in the places we live, but also the places we learn, work, and have fun.

Workplace Bins


Through our website, SARCAN.CA, we offer resources for schools to help enhance their recycling efforts, encourage more responsible waste practices throughout their facilities, and help promote lasting, positive recycling habits in their students and faculty.

Schools are able to order free recycling bins for their school and download resources such as posters, information sheets, and guides that walk through setting up a green team, conducting a waste audit, and more.

With the popularity of the recycling bins in schools, and the effect it had on returns, we extended our bin program to the Industrial, Commercial, & Institutional (IC&I) sector. Businesses, clubs, event centres, leisure centres, and more are now able to order recycling bins free of charge from our website, as well as downloadable posters and information sheets to help these places encourage positive recycling habits.

This initiative has been very well received with 364 bins being ordered by over 80 workplaces and public spaces across the province!

Event Sponsorship

Our research also informs us that people are less likely to recycle when at big festivals if no recycling infrastructure is present. In 2023 SARCAN became a recycling sponsor for several large festivals to help provide recycling service at their festival, including large recycling bins, bags, storage trailers, and financial contributions.

The 18 festivals we sponsored included SK Jazz Festival, Country Thunder, Regina Folk Festival, Windscape Kite/ Long Day’s Night (Swift Current), Ness Creek Music Festival, Gateway Music Festival, PBR Rodeo (North Battleford), as well as Saskatoon & Regina Pride.

Customer Outreach

Market Research

Just as in previous years, SARCAN conducted a market research survey in 2023 to help create a touch point to the public and gauge the awareness, popularity, and overall level of satisfaction of our organization. We can then use our findings to help guide our focus and create effective strategies for connecting with Saskatchewan residents and promoting stronger recycling habits throughout the province.

Brand Awareness

We continue to see a staggeringly high level of brand awareness with 99% of the general public reporting that they are aware of SARCAN, and 98% reporting being familiar with our operations. This is supported by the fact that 90% of the survey respondents correctly identified the majority of our accepted items.

Recycling Behaviours

Through this market research, we are able to place Saskatchewan residents into segments based on how they report interacting and engaging with SARCAN Recycling. This segmentation breaks the public into Heavy SARCANner (recycling 75% or more of their containers at SARCAN), Lightto-Moderate SARCANner (1-75%), and the Non-SARCANner (0% returned to SARCAN).

We were more than happy to find that nine in ten residents report recycling at least some of their containers at SARCAN, which highlights a shift of the Non- and Light-to-Moderate SARCANners from the previous year’s study to Heavy SARCANners.

Our 2023 study categorized 75% of the general population as Heavy SARCANners, which is a 3% increase. More impressively, 40% of these Heavy SARCANners report recycling 100% of their beverage containers at SARCAN.

Customer Satisfaction

With 90% of the province’s population heading out on recycling trips to SARCAN, we want to make sure that our depots and their services are up to par, offering a positive, rewarding experience.

Looking at the results of this survey, we see that we are hitting that mark! Satisfaction levels grew this past year with 90% of people reporting they were satisfied with their SARCAN experience.

It comes as no surprise, then, that SARCAN customers are highly likely to act as brand ambassadors by promoting SARCAN to their friends and families. We used a Net Promoter Score™, which determines how likely a person is to recommend SARCAN to others, and once again received an industry dominating NPS™ of 66!

Drop & Go Satisfaction

Now, if you thought that an NPS™ of 66 was impressive, hold on to your socks! We also conduct a satisfaction survey specific to our line-skipping service, Drop & Go, which did not disappoint!

Drop & Go users reported an overall 98% satisfaction rate with the service and boasted an incredible world-class NPS™ of 83! On top of those amazing scores, 12% of Drop & Go users report that they did not recycle with SARCAN before they started using Drop & Go.

This all, once again, points us to the fact that the convenience and satisfying experience of Drop & Go is an integral tool and pathway to shift non-recyclers and binners of the province into excellent, happy SARCAN recyclers.

Spreading the SARCAN Word

By pulling the data points and percentages from the pages of these surveys, we are able to identify key focus areas, target demographics, and strategies for creating strong messaging campaigns that connect with Saskatchewan residents, encouraging them to adopt better recycling habits.

Now Recycling at a SARCAN Near You!

SARCAN’s largest advertising campaign this year was another installment of our three-year plan aimed at turning the non-recyclers and blue binners into SARCAN stars!

This year’s advertising campaign used a creative theme of movie trailers to encourage the NonSARCANer to use Drop & Go, participate in bottle drives, visit SARCAN with their non-legislated products, and skip the blue bin. This year’s campaign was featured via broadcast and digital streaming, podcasts, movie theatres, digital ads, social media ads, and our VDA systems.

Pro Tips!

In 2023, we did a second round of our exceptionally popular Pro Tips! videos. The Pro Tips! series of videos are fun little bite-sized videos sharing the best SARCAN tips, so people can make the best SARCAN trips, and feature our customers’ favourite source of information: our employees!

We share Pro Tips! on social media, YouTube, our website, and our VDA system. The feedback we’ve heard from customers and employees alike was that this year’s installment was once again a big hit!

Targeted Advertising

Another area of focus that our market research shone a light on was Saskatoon. We discovered that Saskatoon residents are less likely to recycle at SARCAN than the average Saskatchewan resident, indicating that they are more likely to use their blue bin for their containers.

We launched some targeted advertising initiatives in the city, aiming to reverse this trend and swing Saskatonians from their blue bins into a SARCAN depot by informing them that SARCAN is both easy and convenient. These initiatives included digital billboards around Saskatoon, supplemented by online and social media campaigns, as well as digital ads in the city’s arenas and sport centres.

Digital Info Sheets & Translations

Supercharged Recycling

Not surprisingly, given that batteries were the most recent addition to the SARCAN family of accepted items, awareness of SARCAN’s battery recycling program remained low this year.

To increase that awareness and encourage customers to bring their old, dead batteries into a depot for recycling, SARCAN partnered with Call2Recycle to run a social media contest. Customers who recycled batteries and shared their efforts on social media were entered to win a cash prize.

With a brand recognition of 99%, we often take for granted that we are so well known. Our market research led us to the conclusion that we needed to make a better effort to provide information to individuals who are new to the province and might not be aware of SARCAN or what we do.

To address this, SARCAN created and launched a set of Digital Information Sheets that are available to download from our website. These include important information such as accepted materials, return options, how to prepare your recycling, and more.

To help spread this information to Saskatchewan’s newcomers and make SARCAN knowledge accessible to all, we partnered with Saskatoon Open Door Society to provide the Info Sheets in nine different languages.

2023-2024 Financial Highlights

Complete information on the financial position of SARC and SARCAN Recycling can be found in our audited financial statements, available on our website.


SARC’s main source of funding is from the Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Social Services with an operating grant and a grant for COMPASS training.

There was a 1.5% increase in this grant funding in 2023-24. Education and Training revenue was up 31% over 2022-23 due to the record high program registrations, including an

SARCAN Recycling

SARCAN Recycling’s record high container returns of 501.9 million resulted in another positive year. The legislated program had total revenue of $50.68 million which was slightly above 2022-23. Our contract revenue from the Ministry of Environment increased by $2.0 million which was offset by a decrease in salvage materials revenue. Even with a record number of containers, salvage materials revenue was down from 2022-23 due to lower salvage prices.

Record container returns mean busier depots, which also increases the system expenses. Overall expenses for the year saw a 5.8% increase over 2022-23. Wages and benefits make up over 50% of total expenses – this area saw an increase due to the increased volumes moving through the system, as well as a wage grid adjustment to ensure our compensation package remained competitive and to stay ahead of the minimum wage increase that was effective October 1, 2023.

increase from out-of-province organizations.

SARC expenses were up 12.3% from 2022-23 which corresponds with the increased revenue.

Membership Association Activity expenses included continued investment in sector promotion work with the Start With Hello media campaign.

Revenue $3.061 million $3.291 million

($2.743 million in 2023)

($2.931 million in 2023)

The net result for the year was an excess of revenue over expenses of $5.082 million which was down from 2022-23. From this amount, the maximum payouts allowable under our contract were made to Members operating depots. The remaining surplus is used to ensure the longterm sustainability of the recycling system and to invest in our depot infrastructure across the province. The depot system is asset intensive and requires continued investment. We invested $7.5 million in capital assets in 2023-24, including investments and improvements to depot buildings and investments in equipment and trailers.

In the non-legislated program, paint, electronics, batteries, and household glass all saw an increase in volumes of materials returned. Increased volumes in these categories increased the contract revenues received as well as the related expenses.



501.9 million total containers returned

493.6 million total containers returned

2023-2024 Financial Results

SARC’s operations encompass a variety of services and activities in support of the Disability Service sector. These include Member Association Activity, Education & Training, Consultants (Workforce Development Coordinator, Senior Labour Relations Consultant, and Facility Planner), Projects [Supported Employment Transition Initiative (SETI)], and Administration.


SARCAN Recycling is a Division of SARC. SARCAN Recycling’s operations are divided into two main Programs – Legislated, which is the collection and recycling of used beverage containers and is legislated by the Ministry of Environment, and Non-legislated, which includes used paint, end-of-life electronics, household glass, and household batteries.

Legislated Program (Used Beverage Containers)

Non-Legislated Program (Used Paint, End-of-Life Electronics, Household Batteries)

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