The Yukon government is putting money behind upgrades to transfer stations in Yukon communities having signed interim regional solid waste agreements with the municipalities of Teslin and Watson Lake.
The agreements will see Teslin receive $69,000 and $61,000 go to Watson Lake.
An April 24 notice from the Yukon government says the goal of the funding agreement is to help the rural municipalities upgrade their landfill facilities, address liability requirements and ensure lease agreements are in place for the facilities.
Along with improvements of the facilities themselves, the new agreements will support the provision of waste disposal to residents in unincorporated areas in their regions.
The goal of the improvements is to bring in more modern and sustainable practices for the landfills. The government notice says the recently announced interim agreements will be replaced by more permanent ones once final considerations including lease and liability agreements, gates, staff and tipping fees are in place.
While Watson Lake and Teslin are the first to sign on, similar deals have been offered to the remaining Yukon communities. Government funding for the regional facilities is to be determined by a population-based formula estimating the number of people who live outside but near the municipal boundaries.
“We applaud Yukon municipalities for their dedication to improving solid waste management across the territory. We also thank the Association of Yukon Communities for their environmental stewardship and their role in this important initiative. With these agreements in place, we continue to work towards sustainable, local, solid waste services that are accessible to all Yukoners,” said Richard Mostyn, the territory’s minister of Community Services.
Teslin Mayor Gord Curran noted Teslin was already providing waste disposal services to residents outside the municipal boundary and the village is pleased to receive financial compensation for those services.
Chris Irvin, the mayor of Watson Lake, said the funding towards facility improvement is appreciated and the regional facilities will be a positive step for sustainability.
The government is still planning to close the solid waste facilities at Silver City, Braeburn and Johnson’s Crossing but the government’s notice states that regional facilities created under new agreements will create options for the users of those facilities who live in unincorporated areas. A government representative told the News that this isn’t a reduction in service for the users of the closing transfer stations but just a change in where they have to drop off their household waste. It will also give them access to a regional landfill for yard waste, metals, construction waste and other materials that weren’t accepted at transfer stations.
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