Photos posted on Facebook show piles of items dumped at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter, which the shelter says is causing a problem. (Humane Society Yukon/Facebook)

Humane society pleads with Whitehorse residents to stop dumping trash at animal shelter

Disposal of garbage and furniture costs non-profit $1,200 in tipping fees

By Jamie-Lee McKenzie

People have been dropping off their unwanted garbage at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter, costing the Humane Society Yukon approximately $1,200 in tipping fees.

“I guess people are just feeling that they’re conserving and bringing it here, but when it’s a lot of stuff to be thrown out and disposed of, it creates more of a problem than a contribution,” said Dan Moore, the society’s executive director.

It’s money that could be better spent on the animals, said Moore, who posted a statement to the organization’s Facebook page to remind people that the shelter is not a free store, recycling depot or garbage dump.

Moore said this has been happening for the last four to six weeks. It started around the time that Raven Recycling closed their free store. People started dropping off items like mattresses and couches, that are no use to the humane society.

“People still do drop off blankets and towels and things like that and we have a couple of donation bins out front which are designed for that,” said Moore. “It’s the bigger items like couches and beds, there’s no value to us.”

With the added cost of removing the unwanted items, Moore asked the City of Whitehorse to give the society a break on the tipping fees and said his request was turned down.

“There was a request for waiving tipping fees, (and) we’ve done that in the past for household reuse with different organizations throughout the city,” said Peter O’Blenes, the city’s Director of Infrastructure and Operations. He said the request wasn’t necessarily rejected, but that the city needed more information.

In the past the city has waived tipping fees for organizations that accept household reusable items. “There’s a difference between waiving (fees for) waste from an organization and then waiving tipping fees for reusable donations to a charitable organization,” said O’Blenes.

O’Blenes said the animal shelter should be contacting bylaw officers if people are illegally dumping garbage on the shelter’s property.

In a response to the society’s Facebook post, Coun. Roslyn Woodcock said the city’s tipping fees are reasonable and there’s no excuse for people dumping items at the animal shelter.

“Tipping fees are very low. Considering a person comes up with between $500 (and) $1,000 to buy the following items it is pathetic to suggest they can’t find the funds to dispose of it correctly. Fees for a mattress (are) $15, a couch $10, a fridge $40. The cost is not the issue,” she wrote.

The animal shelter does accept donations for their yard sales. But these are items that the shelter approves and puts in storage to keep them out of the elements.

“When you raise a certain amount of funds at a yard sale and you have volunteer staff, having to divide that out over the amount of time and money that it’s taking to dispose of all the stuff that’s coming in that’s not of value, it begins to be an issue of whether or not it’s worth it,” said Moore.

The humane society’s board of the Humane Society Yukon is meeting in July to discuss what can be done about the dumping. Moore believes ending the yard sales would solve the problem.

“I think if there was no yard sale, I think it probably would deter the bigger items,” said Moore.

But he also believes that this could be a good opportunity to discuss what could be done about the lack of options for reusable items.

“Educating people about what is of value, where it can go, who offers what services and maybe opening a discussion again,” said Moore.

In addition to the closure of Raven Recycling’s free store, the Salvation Army’s thrift store closed in April because people were dropping off too much garbage. The free store at the city dump closed last November after staff found a hypodermic needle in a pile of used clothing.

Contact Jamie-Lee McKenzie at jamielee.mckenzie@yukon-news.com

Household wasteHumane Society YukonMae Bachur Animal ShelterRecycling

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

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Silver and Hanley announced masks will be mandatory in public places as of Dec. 1, and encouraged Yukoners to begin wearing masks immediately. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read