I am a student from Vanier and I’m doing a project in my Civics 11 class. I have some concerns about what the municipal government is doing with the recycling of non-refundable products in Whitehorse.
In October, Raven Recycling stopped collecting non-refundable waste in Whitehorse, but continues to collect them from the rest of the communities in the Yukon. P&M and the Yukon Blue Bin Recycling Society are the only organizations that collect non-refundable waste at the moment.
The municipal government is looking into a more sustainable way to recycle non-refundable waste with curbside recycling, similar to your garbage and compost pick-up.
It is clear that to recycle non-refundable waste in Whitehorse, the government needs to give funding, as organizations cannot do it on their own. If the government were to implement a curbside recycling strategy with the Yukon Blue Bin Society, it would need a facility to sort these products. The government is looking into building a whole new facility when couldn’t they just use Raven Recycling’s?
At the moment, the Blue Bin Recycling Society brings its products to P&M. Instead of paying to create a new system, why can we not give more funding to Raven Recycling?
The past system was not working. P&M will be in the same boat as Raven in the future and will need to stop collecting non-refundable products because they now collecting more non-refundables that are worth very little. Municipal curbside recycling seems great, yet if the government decides to make use of the existing Yukon Blue Bin Recycling Society and hauls the recyclables to be sorted at a new, city-run processing facility, it would be in direct competition with P&M. Is it worth the loss of P&M to build an effective city-wide recycling program?
The city needs a long-term sustainable way to recycle non-refundable waste in the city. For approximately $15 a month per household, the government’s plan should cover the total processing and handling fees, as other places in Canada do it for under $15. (In Winnipeg, it costs the government approximately $13 per household). The fee should be added to our monthly utility bill, just as garbage and compost are.
The best route is to work directly with the Yukon Blue Bin Recycling Society (as they already have a system in place), lower the collection fee to $15, and use Raven Recycling’s facility to process the recyclables. With this system, yes, P&M will most likely lose business, but more people will recycle because it’s convenient and predictable, we won’t need to build a facility to sort recyclables, and the Yukon Blue Bin Recycling Society will continue to run. Because more people should be recycling, it will bring the territory closer to their goal of 50 per cent waste diversion from the landfill by 2040.