WATSON LAKE—The Government of Yukon and the Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) have produced a findings report on the territory’s solid waste management system, highlighting ways to work together to reduce costs, streamline operations and protect the environment.
“These findings identify ways in which the Yukon and municipal governments can work in partnership to improve solid waste management,” Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor said today at the AYC annual general meeting in Watson Lake. “The Yukon government is moving forward on the report’s recommendations, which include continuing our collaborative work with the AYC and municipal governments.
“Management of solid waste is a broadly-shared concern and a priority for this government. We are committed to find new ways to work together with municipalities, community members and the private sector and look forward to addressing these important priorities.”
The Solid Waste Working Group Findings Report contains 32 findings related to the regulatory environment, financial stability, landfill liability, fees and charges, peripheral users, regional landfills, waste diversion, extended producer responsibility, training, education and community involvement.
“Solid waste management is a major issue for Yukon communities,” Association of Yukon Communities president Elaine Wyatt said. “The working group’s findings will help us build a comprehensive, integrated and cost-effective solid waste system for Yukon that not only meets regulatory requirements but also responds to the needs of local residents, communities and businesses.”
The Yukon government will also launch a public consultation later this month on the permitting regime set out in the Environment Act.
“The changes we are proposing respond to municipal concerns about consistent standards and the cost of complying with the regulations,” Environment Minister Currie Dixon said. “Environment Yukon proposes to update the approach to application fees, technical review fees and length of permits.”
Over the past three years, unincorporated solid waste facilities administered by the Yukon government have stopped the open burning of domestic waste; former dump and burn sites have been turned into transfer stations; and unincorporated landfills now have groundwater monitoring wells. Improvements to waste diversion have also been made at each of the facilities.
The Our Towns Our Future Solid Waste Advisory Group was formed in January 2013 and comprises four Association of Yukon Communities members and three Yukon government members—two from Community Services and one from Environment Yukon. To view the full report, visit www.community.gov.yk.ca.