Raven Recycling’s drop-off area is surrounded by a temporary fence in Whitehorse on April 15 due to the centre’s COVID-19-related closure. A spokesperson for Raven Recycling said the depot is working on reopening some of its public drop-off bins. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Raven Recycling readies for partial reopening

Cardboard, paper expected to be accepted in the coming days

Raven Recycling could begin reopening a portion of its public drop-off site for cardboard and two types of paper in the coming days.

The decision comes as the recycling firm is working towards reopening to the public after largely shutting its doors last month due to COVID-19.

While Raven has continued collecting commercial cardboard, e-waste, residential paper recycling for customers of the Whitehorse Blue Bins and office paper, the public drop-off (with the exception of e-waste) and bottle depot has remained closed.

Though deemed an essential service, Raven has stated they opted to shut to the public in order to protect its staff and the public. Joy Snyder, executive director at Raven, said recently efforts are underway to look at how it can reopen safely and in an April 27 interview, she confirmed that will likely begin later this week with the acceptance of cardboard and two types of paper waste — white office paper and mixed colour paper (such as newsprint, magazine paper, etc.) at the drop-off.

“We’re ready to start with that,” she said, noting exactly what day it will be reopened is still being determined, but will be published on Raven’s website and social media pages when that decision’s made.

She pointed out Raven officials have determined how the cardboard and paper can be handled without staff having to put their hands on it. She noted staff will be equipped with face shields and gloves. The cardboard and paper can sit for a few days before staff use Bobcats to collect the material without touching it and get it to the machinery to get it ready to be shipped down south. She also noted that the drop-off can be done without Raven staff and the public required to interact.

With recycling depots closed to the public, the Whitehorse landfill has been accepting cardboard in general household waste as part of its response to COVID-19.

City of Whitehorse environmental coordinator Sarah Preiksaitis said there’s no data on how much cardboard has been coming into the landfill, but did note that overall staff are noticing “significantly more”.

Previously, an additional fee was charged if cardboard was mixed in with household waste loads.

More precise data on how much cardboard is making its way to the landfill won’t likely be known until next year.

Preiksaitis explained recycling centres provide a report to the city each year showing how much material was collected and shipped out. Officials will be able to compare the 2020 data with prior years showing the difference in cardboard amounts to give the city an idea of how much ended up in the landfill. While residents can include cardboard in household waste now, officials are asking that those who are able to, to store their cardboard and paper until recycling centres reopen for drop-off.

As Raven gets set to start accepting cardboard and paper again, its larger reopening will happen in later stages as officials look at safe ways to collect other recyclables. Snyder said she’s hopeful the bottle depot can reopen in a couple of weeks, but that will depend on what measures can be established for the health and safety of the public and Raven staff.

“We’re going to have to change protocols,” she said.

Along with developing new operating procedures and exploring how to reopen in the face of new realities, Raven is also working on its own data collection.

Officials, she said, wanted to look at the impact of COVID-19 on waste management. A survey was developed that is now available on Raven’s website at https://ravenrecycling.org/ focusing on how residents are dealing with their recycling during the pandemic.

The questions ask whether people are storing or landfilling their recyclables (breaking that into refundables and non-refundables) as well as how long those who are storing recyclables are willing to do that and other related questions. Residents have until May 4 to complete the survey.

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


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

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon youth being extorted online Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read