The Utilities Consumers’ Group has been reading and hearing all sorts of rhetoric, including the curbside recycling report prepared for the City of Whitehorse, regarding the necessity for the City to implement universal curbside recycling and increase the funding diversion for recycling operations.
One such operation has even stated they may charge a drop-off fee in their depot. How preposterous! And the gall to claim that they subsidize recycling services. As recipients of grants and diversion costs, how can they claim “they” subsidize?
Whitehorse residential consumers pay more than enough for solid waste disposal as it is. Even the City report and one recycler clearly identify that residential recycling is a small portion of the waste stream. To increase residential waste rates only punishes those citizens who have been consciously recycling and composting for many years prior to the city becoming involved.
It is the same old adage: the lowest common denominators always drive City costs up because they are too lazy or too busy to do what is practical. Why are some people still continuously wasting black plastic bags in their garbage cans?
We already have a private blue box supplier that appears to make money as they continue their operations without continuously whining, like some other operations. Let them expand and look after those citizens who so chose this accommodation. The city does not have to become involved as that only drives up rates due to unnecessary management. Let the free market dictate the price.
To help out the recycling operators, continue with the City diversion funding as this saves on the future development and costs of a new landfill site. If it works now why fix it? Just expand on the positives of the existing programs. The territorial government has serious funding environmental obligations in this matter as well.
Here are some novel ideas: Why not formulate a bylaw that makes all Yukon businesses responsible to receive and recycle all their packaging. This has been done in many European cities for years! When corporations have to pay for their own mess, they may even start to package more responsibly with far less styrofoam and plastics, or even better none of these undesirables.
And require more products to include a refundable deposit and recycling fee on purchases, i.e. all cans and plastic containers.
Don’t listen to those who want to initiate higher rates through new programs for their own benefit nor condone whining or threatening to close shop.
If your goal is to achieve “user pay,” then this universal curbside collection idea is not the answer. Leave the present curbside business and offer extended service to those who wish the convenience!
One more question to mayor and council: How many of you will honour your election commitments to hold taxes and utilities fees stable and not continue with the yearly increases we have experienced for 10 years? Or how many will fold to the ever-encroaching bureaucracy’s smoke and mirrors?
Utilities Consumers’ Group