Solid Waste Action Plan, Whitehorse, YT (2015 FCM Award Winner — Waste)

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[Graphic – FCM logo, 2015 Sustainable Communities
Awards, WASTE, CITY OF WHITEHORSE, YT, Population 27,889, Solid Waste Action Plan Implementation] [Interviews with some supporting video, as
described]>>Mayor Dan Curtis, City of Whitehorse, YT:
The City of Whitehorse has an ultimate goal to have zero waste by the year 2040, but we
have an even more ambitious goal to have 50% diversion by the year 2015. We thought we
had 80 years on our landfill. Now we know we only have 40.>>David Albisser, Manager, Water and Waste
Services: In order to close that landfill, we would be facing a cost of over thirteen
million. Then it would cost about another thirteen million dollars to open a new facility.>>Shannon Clohosey, Manager, Environmental
Sustainability: We had curbside organics collection with the residential sector. We had a lot
of success with that program thanks to the Green Municipal Fund, but we were really only
touching 7% of the waste. We decided we had to go out and talk to the business community.
We all came together for two full days to tackle these issues. So, we focused on the
big commodities, cardboard, clean wood, organics and mixed recycling.>>David Albisser, Manager, Water and Waste
Services: We are charging a considerable amount for unsorted waste. It’s $250 per tonne,
vs $87 a tonne, which is the normal sorted load rate.>>Mayor Dan Curtis, City of Whitehorse, YT:
Some businesses are saving $55,000 a year just on hauling their waste.>>Jackie Taylor, Waste Diversion Technical
Assistant: We have our compliance officer at the landfill, who works hands on with the
waste disposal drivers, so every time a load is brought up to the landfill, he is going
with them and watching what is coming out of their truck.>>Shannon Clohosey, Manager, Environmental
Sustainability: In organics, we have a pilot project where we’re looking at collection
from the business sector.>>Mayor Dan Curtis, City of Whitehorse, YT:
Creating an end product that is actually being sold by some of the large retailers.>>Shannon Clohosey, Manager, Environmental
Sustainability: And the plan is to keep growing that pilot project so that over the next one
to two years, we eventually get all businesses on board.>>Mayor Dan Curtis, City of Whitehorse, YT:
We wouldn’t be half as successful with our composting and other initiatives if it wasn’t
for the Gas Tax and Build Canada.>>Jackie Taylor, Waste Diversion Technical
Assistant: So I go around to the businesses and figure out what multiple streams of waste
they have and what might be the best form for them to store it and dispose of it and
who might be able to pick it up for them.>>Mayor Dan Curtis, City of Whitehorse, YT:
A lot of our large retailers are great ambassadors for doing the right thing, so I know that
they have shown here will transpire and move on to the other chain stores in other communities. [Graphic – FCM logo, 2015 Sustainable Communities
Awards, WASTE, CITY OF WHITEHORSE, YT Solid Waste Action Plan Implementation]
[Graphic – 50% diversion by 2015; zero waste by 2050. Business sector focus (93% of waste
stream). Bylaw changes with carrots and sticks for diversion. Soil and compost supply for
local growers. Extended landfill life and reduced liability]

 

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