Compost corruption

What does a boat propeller, a propane tank and a bison hide have in common? They've all been found in the city's green compost bins. Those items and more were on display yesterday as the city announced it would start selling compost this weekend.

What does a boat propeller, a propane tank and a bison hide have in common?

They’ve all been found in the city’s green compost bins.

Those items and more were on display yesterday as the city announced it would start selling compost this weekend.

“It’s of the highest quality,” said Mayor Bev Buckway. “It’s a product created by Whitehorse citizens for Whitehorse citizens.”

With $400,000 in federal gas tax money the city built a facility for the program and got some new equipment, including a packer truck and a machine to package the compost in recyclable bags. Last year they used biodegradable burlap sacks.

The burlap was too ecofriendly, breaking down faster than anticipated.

Buckway found that out the hard way while taking one out of her car last year.

“The composting program has largely been a success, but there have been some problems,” said public works manager Dave Muir, referring to the pile of things people have tried to compost.

That included a computer hard drive, a car battery and a snowmobile ski.

Weeding those items out has to be done by hand, which takes time and money.

Also batteries and other toxic items can taint the compost itself.

“Not only does it effect the quality but there is equipment damage as well,” said Dan Jordan, who heads up the city’s composting program.

“We had 18 tire repairs last year from sharp metal objects,” he said. “The costs of operating the facility don’t need to be where they’re at if we could get a handle on this.”

“There’s a safety risk here as well,” added Muir, gesturing to the propane tank that someone put in a green bin.

“As the compost is working its way through it can get up to 70-degrees Celsius,” he said. “Somebody can get hurt here if these type of things keep going in.”

The city is working on an educating the public, but they are also looking at other ways to make people comply.

“We have cameras on board the packers and if they’re seeing areas that are a problem we’ll have to address that on an independent basis,” said Muir.

The compost goes on sale this Saturday.

A 25-pound bag costs $5, and can be picked up at the city dump’s gatehouse.

Contact Josh Kerr at

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history


Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read