I would like to express my overwhelming support to those concerned community members of Haines Junction that are asking mayor and council to say ‘no’ to incineration.
Many Yukoners, besides Green supporters, understand the toxic, cancerous and wasteful burning of garbage is unhealthy and unsustainable for our environment and our economy.
We need only look as far as Mount Lorne to be reminded of that community’s fight to remove its incinerator and replace it with a much healthier alternative. As we continue to burn waste, we might as well be burning money.
Diverting, recycling, reusing and researching better methods of disposal all create meaningful and varied skill levels of jobs for Yukoners in their communities.
The status quo of governing is forcing Yukoners into jobs that compromise our very health and well-being – and I believe many Yukoners want a job that not only pays the bills, but one that they can be proud of. One that protects our fish and game and fellow citizens from the very deadly pollutions that come along with incineration.
Incinerating 10,000 tonnes of waste creates one job, land filling 10,000 tonnes of waste creates six jobs and recycling 10,000 tonnes of waste creates 36 jobs. The Yukon Green Party considers a 75 per cent diversion rate to be entirely attainable and the best fit for the Yukon.
Striving for higher and higher rates of diversion promotes wiser consumption of non-recyclable materials and a recognition of our personal responsibilities to view our waste as a resource and not as garbage. I am very proud of and emphatically endorse the actions of the residents of Haines Junction, as they urge mayor and council to consider the many alternative and preferred methods to proactively face their waste.
The United Nations Urban Environmental Accord established a goal of zero waste by 2040, the City of Whitehorse has created a goal of Zero Waste for 2040 in its sustainability plan and the Yukon Green Party both supports and applauds those goals.
Thank you to Haines Junction residents for encouraging further discussion on this important topic, and thank you in advance to Haines Junction mayor and council for receiving their comments and being open to other possibilities.
Leader, Yukon Green Party