Big items at the Quigley landfill are starting to get in the way, according to Dawson City.
The territorial government isn’t picking up its garbage in a timely manner, and it’s beyond time it dealt with the mess, according to politicians.
“It’s supposed to be under their purview,” said Jeff Renaud, Dawson’s chief administrative officer. “Those items, which the Yukon government collects recycling fees on, like tires, they haven’t been removed from our site in quite some time and they are accumulating and becoming a constraint on our operations.”
Under existing agreements, Dawson runs the dump and the territory is responsible for getting rid of big stuff, like tires, vehicles and scrap metal, and funding capital projects.
The landfill is open to the entire Klondike Valley, not just residents of Dawson.
This is where the threat came in.
At a meeting in early December, Dawson politicians resolved the landfill would not serve anyone beyond Dawson City limits starting in May.
With the amount of construction already scheduled for the area this coming summer, the restriction – meant to catch the territory’s attention – could create a serious waste-management problem.
“I don’t think you want another landfill to look after up there,” said Wes Wirth, manager of operations with the Department of Community Services.
“What we’re trying to do is use the one site. The one site is expandable, there is some additional reserve land that can be expanded and this year we are planning on moving the metal which will make some more room.
“We do as much as we can.”
Some tires were removed last summer, said Wirth.
“It’s not that we do everything every year, we try, but it’s almost impossible. It does take time.”
The town also needs a new waste-oil containment site to protect the land from being contaminated, said Renaud.
All of these things are being discussed, as both sides are working on a new agreement, said Renaud and Wirth.