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

Respiratory assessment centre in Whitehorse closes doors on advice of CMO

Screening for COVID-19 to be done at Whitehorse hospital, Yukon Communicable Disease Control instead

Whitehorse brings back parking meter fees

Drivers will need to top up meters again as of June 1. The city had suspended enforcement in March.

Phase two of the Yukon’s reopening plan could start July 1

New phase would include travel between B.C. and the Yukon

Spas, hair salons, tattoo parlours and more ready for reopening

Many personal services shops set June date to offically welcome back customers

Community Development Fund awards announced

January intake sees $1.4 million for 24 community projects

UPDATED: Yukon government clarifies businesses available to travellers

Travellers can stop anywhere along the approved route in one of the marked communities

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. June… Continue reading

Pilot Station salmon sonar to go ahead this season

The Pilot Station sonar, located near the mouth of the Yukon River… Continue reading

Renovations start at LePage Park

The Yukon Historical and Museums Association has started a resurfacing project for… Continue reading

Contract awarded for mixed-income housing project

The Yukon government has awarded a $16.8-million contract to build the mixed-income… Continue reading

Watson Lake man charged with gun offences after break-and-enter

Alfred Magun, 60, was arrested and charged with eight offences

Top of the World Highway border crossings remain closed

The Little Gold Creek and Poker Creek border crossings will remain closed… Continue reading

Gymnasts return to Polarettes

Club reopens, summer camps also approved

Most Read