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

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

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

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