Yukon proposes new recycling fees

The Yukon government plans to increase the recycling fee on beverage containers sold in the territory.

The Yukon government plans to increase the recycling fee on beverage containers sold in the territory.

Currently consumers pay 10 cents per beverage containers smaller than one litre, with the exception of containers for dairy and dairy substitutes. You can get a five cent refund if the container is returned to a recycler, with the other five cents going towards the cost of recycling.

That system was set up in 1992, and the government says it no longer covers the costs of recycling in the territory.

“In the 22 years since the (beverage container regulation) was enacted, costs of managing, processing and transporting recyclable materials have increased,” according to the discussion document.

“Over that same period, the number and type of beverage containers sold in Yukon have increased. This puts pressure on depots and processors because they require more equipment and storage space to manage them.”

Under the proposed changes, all beverage containers under a litre will be subject to a 15 cent fee at the time of purchase, and the refund will stay at five cents.

All beverage containers over a litre will be subject to a 40 cent deposit, with a potential refund of 25 cents.

Currently in the Yukon there is also a $5 recycling fee at the time of purchase for passenger tires with a rim size of less than 24.5 inches.

Under the proposed amendments, there would be a fee for all tires. Those with a rim size of 19.5 inches or less would cost an extra $7, those 19.5 to 24.5 inches would cost an extra $15 and those more than 24.5 inches would cost an extra $60.

In addition, the government has proposed recycling fees for some electronics and appliances such as computers, printers, stereos, microwaves and vacuums.

The Whitehorse dump currently charges tipping fees for large tires and some electronic items. If the proposed amendments pass, those fees would be eliminated, as consumers would already have paid for the costs of recycling.

This, in theory, should encourage recycling and keep more of these items out of the landfill.

“An important consideration in this change is that paying the fee at the time of purchase would mean there would be no tipping fees imposed on those same products when they are taken to a landfill or transfer station,” according to the discussion document.

The Yukon government will accept feedback on the proposed changes through Nov. 21. The discussion document and online survey can be found on the Environment Yukon website.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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