A compost pile at the City of Whitehorse landfill. The Association of Yukon Communities is in support of the territory transitioning landfill operations to a regional model, association president Tara Wheeler says. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)

Association of Yukon Communities applauds upcoming changes to waste management

Landfills will be regionalized and illegal dumping fines will increase

Municipalities are welcoming announced changes in how landfills and waste transfer stations will operate throughout the territory.

“It’s something all the municipalities (have been) working towards,” Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) president Tara Wheeler said in an interview May 13.

Community Services Minister John Streicker told Yukon municipal leaders at the annual AYC conference May 9 to 12 that the territory has a plan to deal with waste management issues communities have been facing for years.

“It’s going to a regional model,” Wheeler explained.

Under the changes, tipping fees would be in place at all landfills and waste transfer stations, with fines for illegal dumping to rise to a maximum of $10,000 from the current $100.

The proposal would effectively prevent people in Whitehorse from driving their waste to the Marsh Lake facility, for example, to avoid tipping fees charged at the Whitehorse facility while also making residents think twice about dumping their waste elsewhere, Wheeler said.

The issue is one that communities have been wrestling with for many years. Wheeler recalls the discussion in her community of Carmacks going back to at least her first days on council in 2009.

The changes would also see the closure of four landfills — in Braeburn, Johnson’s Crossing, Keno and Silver City — as a regional system is adopted.

As municipalities welcome the move to a regional waste management model, AYC also passed a resolution calling on the territory to provide finances to municipalities for training and project management on the solid waste agreements that will be signed.

It was one of seven resolutions passed by AYC at the meeting.

The only other resolution specifically dealing with waste would call on the Yukon government to include hydrocarbon containers as part of the designated materials regulations for recycling, with petroleum products to be added under extended producer responsibility for waste.

Other resolutions call for the Yukon government to provide meaningful consultation with communities and First Nations before any new or revised policies are adopted that would impact a community or First Nation; to develop a long-term plan for infrastructure investments in the community; to provide a transition package that would assist newly-hired senior Yukon government staff who will be dealing with communities; and to change Community Development Fund eligibility to the same criteria used before June 2018, which would mean First Nations development corporations could no longer apply to the fund which has not seen an increase to account for more potential applicants.

The only other resolution passed changed the AYC annual fees beginning in 2020 for Local Advisory Councils to the greater of a flat rate of $500 per year or one per cent of the LAC’s operating grant from the territory.

Along with the resolutions passed, delegates also took in a number of presentations, got a tour of Haines Junction that was done Amazing Race style and heard about a variety of initiatives underway in other communities.

Overall, Wheeler deemed the entire weekend a success.

This marked the first AYC meeting where territorial ministers set aside time for individual municipal officials to meet with them, providing each community an opportunity to address their concerns one-on-one with the appropriate minister.

AYC also handed out its annual awards.

Former Marsh Lake LAC chair Perry Savoie was awarded the Hanseatic Award, which goes to “a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Yukon municipal government and furthered the goals of the Association of Yukon Communities.”

Whitehorse city manager Linda Rapp received the AYC Municipal Employee Award of Excellence and the Town of Watson Lake received the Yukon Sustainable Community Award for its asset management plan.

The 2020 AYC conference will be held in Watson Lake.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

CommunityHaines JunctionWhitehorseYukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read