Yukon government updates recycling regulations

Yukoners can expect to pay a little bit more for their milk, computers and kitchen appliances once the territory's new recycling regulations kick in.

Yukoners can expect to pay a little bit more for their milk, computers and kitchen appliances once the territory’s new recycling regulations kick in.

Yesterday, Yukon government officials announced changes to the territory’s beverage container regulations and to the designated material regulations.

Those stewardship programs, which require consumers to pay an additional upfront fee on most beverage containers and some tires, are being expanded.

Starting Aug. 11, there will be a 10-cent surcharge and five-cent refund for milk and milk substitutes, such as drinkable yogurt and soy milk.

For containers 750 millilitres and more, the surcharge is 35 cents and the refund is 25 cents.

And on Oct. 11, consumers will pay more at the till for products such as tires with rim sizes greater than 22 inches, computers, cell phones, kitchen appliances, vacuums and clocks.

The surcharges are collected into Yukon’s recycling fund and help pay for the collection, processing and transport of materials.

The changes aren’t exactly new, however. The government initially proposed them in Sept. 2014.

It’s part of the government’s plan to fall in line with jurisdictions across Canada, said Jennifer Dagg, a manager with Environment Yukon.

“This is a big step in terms of evolving our current recycling system and solid waste management,” she said.

“We selected the surcharges based on what other jurisdictions charge.”

The changes to the stewardship programs are a long time coming.

The beverage container rules hadn’t been updated since 1992, except to add Tetra Paks to the regime about 10 years ago.

And before this year, no other items had been added to the designated material regulations since 2003.

Joy Snyder, executive director of Raven Recycling, has been calling on the territorial government to expand its beverage container regulations for years.

She said she was excited to see new materials added to the existing programs.

“That’s movement in the right direction,” she said.

“It’ll ensure there’s a system in place to fund the recycling of those materials.”

Snyder believes the beverage container regulation should be expanded to all containers, and include products such as tin cans and yogurt.

“That’s called extended producer responsibility,” she said.

“It’s a proven way of dealing with recyclable material.”

Dwayne Muckosky, Yukon’s director of community operations and programs, said the changes might be one step towards extended producer responsibility, or EPR, in the territory.

In southern Canada and in many countries around the world, EPR laws require manufacturers to fund and manage recycling and disposal programs for their products.

But there is no EPR policy in the Yukon.

“It’s been nationally recognized that there are challenges to implementing EPR in the North,” he said, “for a number of reasons, including the distance from markets and the small population that is spread out over a large geographic area. We’re trying to take the approach of one step at a time.”

The government announcement came a day before the start of the Association of Yukon Communities’ annual general meeting in Watson Lake.

In March, the City of Whitehorse drafted four resolutions it wanted to present to the Yukon government at the meeting.

One of them encouraged the government to develop and implement an electronics recycling program.

For a full list of products that fall under the stewardship programs visit www.YGrecycles.ca.

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

From Whitehorse to the Whitecaps

Joe Hanson is starting his second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy

Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race doesn’t miss a step

Blue skies and sunshine for a chilly fall race

Canada Summer Games postponed

Yukon Canada Summer Games athletes will now work on mastering skills in preperation for 2022

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Nominations closed in Watson Lake byelection

Four candidates are running for mayor

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Most Read