Recycling concerns dominate town hall meeting

The future of Whitehorse's recycling industry was the standout issue discussed at a public meeting last night at Golden Horn Elementary School.

The future of Whitehorse’s recycling industry was the standout issue discussed at a public meeting last night at Golden Horn Elementary School.

About 20 residents from Mary Lake, Cowley Creek, Wolf Creek and Whitehorse sat down to speak with Mayor Dan Curtis and other members of council during one of a series of monthly town hall meetings planned for 2015.

The informal get-together, which took place in the school’s colourful library, brought many issues to light, but recycling was at the forefront of most people’s minds.

Linda Ehrlich from Mary Lake wondered what kind of plan the city had for its residents living in country residential areas.

“Are you thinking of something beyond the blue box system for people out here (in country residential areas)?” she asked.

“We’ve had a number of surveys about it but it seems like they’ve been inconclusive.”

In November, the city announced it was fast-tracking plans to offer curbside recycling collection.

It’s expected that households would pay $15 per month for the weekly service, which would help recycling processors such as Raven Recycling and P&M stay above water financially.

Fifty-two per cent of residents who recently answered a city survey about the curbside program said they would be willing to pay a fee to cover the costs of recycling.

As it stands, residents outside the city core have to store their garbage and recycling at home and haul it to the city’s landfill or recycling processors themselves.

Mayor Dan Curtis said he hopes to work with the Yukon government to find viable ways of keeping local processors out of bankruptcy. Those include both short- and long-term solutions to the city’s current recycling dilemma.

“The reality is waste costs money,” he said.

“Every time we drop something off that has no value, we’re killing them (processors).”

Coun. John Streicker said the city is trying to get a user-pay model up and running and offered a few examples, such as dropping off recycling or having it collected for a fee.

Bruce Henry, representing the Mary Lake Community Association, said council has to find creative ways to encourage residents in country residential areas to bring their recycling to the city.

Following the meeting, he said he enjoys the opportunity to meet members of council face to face and raise important issues.

“The city does a good job of listening to issues and then forming committees that focus specifically on those issues,” he said.

“That’s what I like about the process. It’s nice to see the mayor and council out; the fact that they’re asking questions is great because we’ve had a lot of mayors and councils who never asked any questions.”

Ehrlich, who has lived in Mary Lake for 25 years, said the meeting was a good opportunity to clear up some of the misunderstandings about certain issues.

It’s good to hear that the city is working on fixing its recycling issues but the purpose of the meeting is to hear from citizens, she said.

“There needs to be a balance between what we hear from elected officials and them listening to us and our concerns,” she said.

“It was a fairly short meeting and I would have liked a longer one. I appreciate the informality around it but it would have been important to hear more from us and our issues, and to help problem-solve to some extent.”

Other issues that were brought up included fracking within city limits, forest fire protection and gunfire in country residential areas.

The next town hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Christ the King Elementary School gym in Riverdale.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

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.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a public exposure warning on April 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
COVID-19 exposure notice issued for Air Canada flight

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a… Continue reading

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 9, 2021.… Continue reading

Landon Kulych, the city’s manager of parks and community development, is seen addressing city management and council about the potential e-bike bylaw earlier in 2021. First reading of the new bylaw will be considered by council April 13. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
E-bike bylaw considered

Class of bike would determine what trails they could travel

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

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read