Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for November 9, 2012

Riverdale to be home to the city’s first Blue Box service

Riverdale will soon be home to the city’s first Blue Box program.

By Stephanie Waddell on November 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

Graham Lang

Riverdale will soon be home to the city’s first Blue Box program.

After launching their website earlier in the day, on Wednesday night, officials with the Yukon Blue Bin Recycling Society were set to hit the pavement in the neighbourhood.

They were looking for the first customers wanting to take advantage of their pilot project.

For those who sign up for $20 per month, the society will provide a 14-gallon blue bin with bags to line the boxes for curb side collection.

Residents can fill the boxes with their recyclables, which the society will then pick up every other week beginning next Wednesday.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon Graham Lang, one of four proponents behind the society, said work on the initiative started earlier this year when he was talking to his cousin about the amount of recycling that builds up in their homes.

For his cousin, who has a family which includes two kids, there isn’t always time to return recyclable products on a regular basis, and the materials build up.

Graham, who lives downtown and doesn’t own a vehicle, relies on getting rides to a recycling centre.

So, between those trips, his recycling piles up to the point where his pantry holds not food, but recycling.

“There’s obviously, a need,” Lang said, noting that discussion got the project going.

The service is designed to make recycling convenient, Lang said.

While the society had planned to be hitting the streets sooner to drum up business, there was a delay when it learned it needed not only a business permit from the city, but a permit to collect curbside recyclables.

Because there have been very few people, if anyone, seeking the permit in the past, it took some effort to acquire the proper permit. As Lang noted, things like that always
take some time.

While there have been discussions around a blue box program in the city earlier, Lang believes the “real key” with the society’s initiative is that by staff going door-to-door, potential customers will get to discuss the program face-to-face with someone.

Lang and the three other directors will continue their door-to-door sales strategy over the next month in addition to the recyclables pickup every other week.

Though a $20 rate may not garner a profit at this point, the Riverdale program will give the society an idea about whether the program will work citywide.

Riverdale provides a good “microcosm” of the greater city population, Lang said. It also enables the group to start its service in one location rather than trying to cover all of Whitehorse.

With between 800 and 1,000 residences in the neighbourhood, Lang said the group needs between 200 and 250 customers to break even.

The pilot will also let the society know what “kinks” will have to be ironed out should it go citywide, and whether such multi-family residences as apartments and townhouses could be included.

Lang pointed out that while he believes the program will work as it’s proposed, there are always unexpected situations that crop up with such new ventures.

Along with signing up for the service when the society knocks on their door, Riverdale residents also have the option of signing up online through the society’s website at yukonbluebins.com

Automatic payments will be deducted through credit cards until service is cancelled.

Lang expressed the society’s thanks to Terry Horsman of Horsman Mechanical for selling the group their “major capital investment” – a cube van that will be used for pickup.

Once the recyclables are picked up, they will be delivered to P&M Recycling, where they will be sorted and processed.

Lang said the society worked out an arrangement for the local recycler to process the goods for a fee.

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CommentsAdd a comment


Nov 10, 2012 at 12:05 am

After moving up here from Edmonton where this has been standard practice since 1988 (after a successful pilot in 1986), I definitely welcome this move!


Nancy T

Nov 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

A great idea for people who don’t drive.  The only thing I am concerned about is this.  Because Riverdale is surrounded by green belt how they will keep the foxes,  coyotes and bears from getting into the bio bags before they get picked up.  I know myself peanut butter jars and jam jars are a pain to scrub clean.  I hope this doesn’t lead them into temptation.  Twenty bears ended up being killed this summer because people put their garbage out the night before.  They’re defense was that the city didn’t provide them with bear proof containers.  People in Juneau would get fined by the city for leaving a bin out over night. If people want to pay someone to do a chore they are unable to or do not want to do for themselves that is fine . I just hope no animal will be hurt because of this program.

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