Recycling processors call for funding hike

Whitehorse's recycling processors are asking the city for an increase in payments they receive for diverting material from the landfill.

Whitehorse’s recycling processors are asking the city for an increase in payments they receive for diverting material from the landfill.

Raven Recycling’s executive director, Joy Snyder, spoke before council at a meeting on Monday and said the amount isn’t enough to cover costs.

The city provides $75 per tonne – an amount matched by the Yukon government last year – for recycling diversion credits up to $150,000 per year.

“In 2014, Raven and P&M will be applying for an amount $60,000 over the cap,” she said.

“In 2013 we applied for an amount around $170,000. This year, because of the cap, processors will only receive $55 per tonne rather than $75.

“Given the city’s desire to reach 50 per cent diversion by the end of the year, it would make sense to double the cap.”

Last year, the city announced its plan to divert 50 per cent of waste from the landfill site by 2015. The Yukon government has made the same pledge.

Snyder, also speaking on behalf of P&M’s Pat McInroy, said that even at $75 per tonne, the credits only subsidize about a quarter of the cost to process non-refundable materials.

There are also issues with the payment schedule, Snyder said.

Diversion credits are paid out once a year, in February.

“I suspect we’re your only service providers that have to wait 13 months to receive payment,” she told council.

Snyder said Raven is in talks with the Yukon government to come up with a processing fee that would allow the non-profit to re-open its drop-off and ease pressure on P&M, which she said was struggling to keep up with an increased volume of materials.

On Oct. 16, Raven ended its free public recycling drop-off service.

In November, the city announced plans to offer curbside recycling collection in the future.

It’s estimated households would pay $15 per month for weekly curbside recycling collection, which would cover both collection and processing of recyclable materials. It’s still unknown which companies or organizations will be involved or when the program will begin.

RELATED:

Residents divided on curbside recycling program

Whitehorse residents are on the fence when it comes to supporting a residential curbside recycling collection program, according to a recent survey.

The city heard from more than 1,900 residents, 69 per cent of whom said a curbside recycling program would make it easier for them to recycle.

But only 52 per cent of the respondents said they were willing to pay a fee to cover the costs of recycling.

In November, the city announced its plans to offer curbside recycling collection at some point in the future.

A study estimated that households would pay $15 per month for weekly curbside recycling collection.

The survey also revealed that only 11 per cent of residents would like the city to stick with the status quo.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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