WHITEHORSE—Yukon’s solid waste system is being modernized through the implementation of the Yukon Solid Waste Action Plan, Community Services Minister Archie Lang announced today.
“Since November 2009, the Yukon government has forged ahead to create a modern, sustainable waste management system,” Lang said. “By implementing the Solid Waste Action Plan we are achieving the goals of this forward-thinking plan to help support healthy and sustainable Yukon communities.”
Domestic waste is no longer being burned in eight of 19 solid waste facilities operated by the Yukon government, well in advance of the 2012 deadline committed to in the action plan.
In the Southern Lakes region, former “dump and burn” sites run by the Yukon government have been transformed into either transfer stations or full service solid waste facilities. Transfer stations accept domestic waste and recycling while full service solid waste facilities are staffed, have regular hours and accept more items than transfer stations, such as hazardous and other non-domestic waste. All facilities have improved fencing to keep out wildlife.
“We have been working with municipalities, communities, industry and other stakeholders to improve how we manage our waste,” Lang said. “The system is working well and communities are benefitting from our new, modern way of operating solid waste facilities.”
Work continues to convert the remaining 11 sites to modern no-burn facilities. In the remote community of Old Crow, solutions such as waste gasification technology are being investigated. This technology could also be considered for use in other parts of Yukon.
Other improvements include: installation of groundwater monitoring wells in most facilities accessible by road; reduced waste-wood burning due to chipping brush and trees for landscaping and composting; and the removal of 3,500 tonnes of metal from landfills.
The Solid Waste Advisory Committee established by the action plan has also been making steady progress, exploring innovative, long-term approaches to further improve waste recycling, diversion, reduction and handling.
The Yukon Solid Waste Action Plan is online at www.community.gov.yk.ca along with a summer 2011 update and the Solid Waste Advisory Committee’s first annual report.
Communications, Community Services