Whitehorse Daily Star

YG spurs a potential recycling program

The lingering question as to whether the City of Whitehorse will offer a municipal recycling pickup program grew more complicated Tuesday with an announcement by the Yukon government.

By T.S. Giilck on February 28, 2024

The lingering question as to whether the City of Whitehorse will offer a municipal recycling pickup program grew more complicated Tuesday with an announcement by the Yukon government.

YG stated it’s offering a $2.4-million financial contribution over two years to the city to offset implementation costs for a new municipal curbside recycling program.

“Recognizing that starting a new municipal program of this size poses a significant financial increase to residents and that recycling options within the City of Whitehorse would be limited by the closure of Raven ReCentre, this financial support from the Government of Yukon is intended to cover up to half of the City of Whitehorse’s curbside recycling collection and cover the material processing costs,” the government said in a statement.

“This two-year investment will support curbside pickup until Extended Producer Responsibility regulation is adopted in 2025, to a maximum of $2.4 million over two years.”

(Extended Producer Responsibility shifts the costs of recycling from taxpayers to those producing and selling packaging and paper products, as well as hazardous and special products.)

“I am pleased to offer this financial contribution to support the mayor and council as they consider their bold vision for a sustainable future in Yukon’s largest municipality,” said Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn.

“Curbside recycling is an important part of municipal solid waste services that increases a community’s environmental sustainability and diverts waste from landfills, which are costly to operate and decommission.”

The minister added, “Establishing a municipal curbside collection system in Yukon’s largest city will be a tremendous environmental benefit, and we are proud that this financial support will offset some of the cost for citizens.

“As we work toward a greener, healthier Yukon, recycling is one of the easiest things we can all do,” Mostyn added.

“I encourage the mayor and council to take this crucial step towards environmental stewardship in Yukon’s largest municipality.”

Recycling and waste management remain a municipal responsibility.

Oshea Jephson, a spokesperson for the city, provided the Star with a statement on the government announcement.

“The City of Whitehorse has been working closely with industry to understand how a curbside recycling program could be implemented over the next 18 months while the territory waits for the full implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility,” the statement said.

In a Feb. 13 letter, the statement added, Mayor Laura Cabott “asked a number of questions that will impact how council chooses to move forward.

“The answers to those questions will help city council understand how the program will operate, but, more importantly, what impact this interim service would have on residents, including the potential cost to users.

“Despite the Government of Yukon’s announcement, those questions remain unanswered,” the city said.

“We look forward to a comprehensive reply so that city council can consider all the information before it makes such an important decision on the future of recycling in our city.”

Cabott has said previously that a service would involve a charge to users, and that country residential areas would not be included in a program.

In 2023, the Raven Recycling Society informed the city it would cease offering some of its recycling services – notably its drop-off bins – last Dec. 31 if it didn’t see some progress on introducing a municipal system of some kind, most likely curbside collection.

Earlier this year, the society advised the Star it has put off that deadline, possibly to mid-summer.

P & M Recycling, which operates a smaller drop-off service downtown, told the Star last year it would also suspend its drop-off service if Raven did.

The government said in its statement, “Curbside recycling is a new public service for the City of Whitehorse; the Government of Yukon’s assistance is intended to alleviate some of the financial pressure that citizens would bear if the full cost of this new program is put on them.”

Comments (6)

Up 0 Down 0

Bandit on Mar 2, 2024 at 4:42 am

Just build a Waste/Incinerator = Power Generator, it's done successfully in many other jurisdictions.

Up 0 Down 0

Gus on Mar 2, 2024 at 1:11 am

If YG wants recycling, then they should pay for it.

People who want convenient recycling can subscribe to the Blue Box service, and YG can refund a portion of the cost to those users.
Blue Box users can then apply to YG for an annual rebate.
This helps the Blue Box business with more subscribers, and those who use it can get their cost reduced.
That would be better than dumping the recycling cost onto the stores, who will increase their prices even more to pay a recycling tax on the products they sell.

Up 0 Down 0

North_of_60 on Mar 1, 2024 at 7:19 pm

"Extended Producer Responsibility shifts the costs of recycling from taxpayers to those producing and selling packaging and paper products, as well as hazardous and special products."

Translation:
Instead of recycling paid for by the generous gifts YG receives from Ottawa, it will be foisted onto local merchants who will pass it onto consumers.

As if our grocery costs weren't already too high.

Up 37 Down 6

Brian Melanson on Feb 29, 2024 at 3:49 am

Unfortunately the carbon footprint of collecting the recycling and storing it does not offset the benefits of the program.
The closest market to sell the recycled materials is Vancouver. Then it has to be trucked to Vancouver to sell.

Up 11 Down 11

Barbara on Feb 29, 2024 at 1:48 am

Nobody recycles, Rickie. You know that.

Up 50 Down 7

Jim on Feb 28, 2024 at 7:45 pm

So who does the government think is going to pay for this extended producers responsibility fee. Remove the burden from taxpayers? Mostyn doesn’t think the producers will pass this on to the consumers? I am always shock with what comes out of our elected officials mouths as of late

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