WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon and the City of Whitehorse continue to work together towards establishing a more sustainable system of waste diversion and recycling for Yukon.
“We understand the importance of recycling and are committed to promoting responsible solid waste management, better waste diversion and environmental stewardship in Yukon,” Minister of Community Services Currie Dixon said. “The volume of recyclables being dropped off at local processors has increased – Yukoners are recycling more. This temporary increase in funding will help us implement a system that is both financially and environmentally sustainable.”
Over the past year the City of Whitehorse and the Yukon government reviewed the best options for sustainable waste diversion in Yukon, including contracting a study to review system and funding options.
As work continues to establish a more sustainable waste management system across the territory, the Yukon government is committing up to $573,000, subject to legislative approval, for local recycling processors, based on the type and tonnage of recyclable material they process in 2015/16. This is 2.5 times more than what was provided last year. Another $68,000 will be given to the processors to ship 400 tonnes of stockpiled mixed plastics out of the territory for recycling.
Work is also underway to amend Yukon’s recycling regulations, which will increase recycling deposits on refundable beverage containers and establish environmental fees on items like electronics. The territorial government asked Yukoners about these proposed changes in the fall of 2014 and hopes to bring forward amendments later this year.
“All Yukoners create waste and we all need to manage it responsibly and sustainably,” Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis said. “Working together, we can all make a difference and divert more waste from landfills in Whitehorse and other communities. The City is committed to working with the Yukon government and our recycling partners on a long-term solution for recycling in Yukon.”
The City of Whitehorse is lifting the $150,000 funding cap for its 2015 diversion credit program, which will provide an additional $57,300 in credits to recycling processors this year. The City will also advance the 2016 diversion credit funding, which is another $150,000 for recycling this year. It has also offered to accept mixed paper – which has been stockpiled by recycling processors – at its compost facility where it will be processed separately into a lower-grade compost.
Planning continues for a more sustainable system in Whitehorse. The City has completed public consultation, has issued a Request for Expression of Interest for curbside blue bin collection in Whitehorse and continues to work on an integrated recycling solution for Whitehorse and Yukon.
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Ben Yu Schott
Communications, Community Services
Communications, City of Whitehorse