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Action wanted on waste

Open letter to mayor and council: Thank you for endorsing a goal of zero waste for the city of Whitehorse. Real action in reducing, reusing and recycling our waste is dependent on this continued commitment.

Open letter to mayor and council:

Thank you for endorsing a goal of zero waste for the city of Whitehorse. Real action in reducing, reusing and recycling our waste is dependent on this continued commitment.

And action is needed.

We have been stalled at 11 per cent recycling diversion for years and toxic materials like computers and televisions are both a financial and environmental liability for our city.

Changes to the waste management bylaw are a step in the right direction.

Every municipality that wants to get serious about waste diversion makes it difficult or unacceptable to throw away certain things. Electronic waste and household hazardous waste are obvious choices for materials that should be banned from a landfill.

Even better, the Yukon government could add them to the existing designated materials regulation so they would be handled like tires and beer bottles, with a fee upfront to pay for their proper disposal.

But what about cardboard? While it is not toxic, this highly recyclable product is rapidly filling our landfill. As a recycling processor, we know there is value in cardboard and we want more.

As council discusses changes to the waste management bylaw, we suggest cardboard be added to the schedule of banned materials with a clear date as to when it will no longer be accepted.

Cardboard needs to get out of our landfill. Next to organics and wood waste, paper is the biggest item going into our landfill. This is both costly to the city and a waste of resources.

We’re ready to move on cardboard. The waste management bylaw has an opportunity to be a solid first step in waste diversion.

Joy Snyder,

Executive director

Raven Recycling Society