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2018 Municipal Election


Rethink Your Vote!

October 18th is the Whitehorse municipal election!

Show your support for recycling by attending a candidates meeting and asking questions about waste issues that matter to you! We also encourage you to contact candidates directly to find out their stance on important issues facing our city!


We asked municipal candidates two questions about recycling and waste diversion - here's their answers!


Question 1. 

In 2013, the City’s Solid Waste Action Plan (SWAP) set out a goal of 50% diversion by 2015. In the past three years, the City’s diversion rate has actually fallen from 34% to 26%. Will you commit to a new goal of 50% diversion by 2021? Will you commit to enforcing the current bans on cardboard, organics and e-waste?


Question 2. 

Do you support the City implementing a residential blue box program? Why or why not? 


Mike Gladish

1. I will commit to a goal of 50% diversion by 2021 and a goal of 100% diversion by 2040.  I will commit to enforcing the current ban on cardboard, organics and e-waste.I support a city-wide blue box program. 

2. I would like to see a partnership between the city, private sector and social enterprise.  Whitehorse Blue Bin Recycling and P&M are good business ventures and should have a chance to succeed.  We could consider the idea of dividing the city into areas that are manageable for small businesses or social enterprises. My priority is to start mandatory curbside collection of recyclables as soon as possible with the most efficient system available.


Rick Karp

1. The City deserves a lot of recognition for the work they have accomplished so far. We did not achieve the goal of 50% diversion by 2015, but that was a very ambitious goal considering the nature of Whitehorse.

The momentum is building in the City and I would certainly commit to a new goal of 50% diversion by 2021 – I believe that goal is achievable. The key here is not in the business community as that community has been working very hard at recycling and diversion, especially with cardboard products. It is in two areas that we have to concentrate: One, in convincing the general population and the high density (condos and apartments) in the City; and Two, by engaging in a marketing campaign on the importance of diversion, recycling and waste management. This is part of my area of expertise and I am eager to get on with it!!

2. Absolutely, this will have to be part of the actionable items that will help us reach our goal by 2021. What is there to discuss? This is a perfect fit for the City. We just have to work out the way to manage it and then get it done. I trust Bryna and the team at the City, working with the new Mayor and Council, to come up with the best plan. We have to have short, and to the point, consultations with the stakeholders, such as Raven Recycling, get a plan in place and do it.


Roslyn Woodcock

1. First of all I think it is important to note that the decrease in diversion is a bit of an anomaly due to a huge amount of construction and demolition waste from FH Collins and other older buildings. Our city is going through a massive amount of infrastructure and housing renewal; all of which means a ton of new waste. Having said that, it does not mean that we shouldn’t do a far better job on diversion of C&D and other materials including cardboard which we have made great strides with though enforcement continues to be a learning curve. I support the move towards zero waste and a cradle to grave product philosophy; so I certainly support the goal of 50% diversion by 2021. We, of course, need the support of the community and the Yukon Government to get there. We also need to acknowledge that local diversion priorities and processes may differ from what we see in the global news. There is no one size fits all solution. 

2. I support a residential curbside recycling program because it is one of the few actions within the city’s control that can assist in creating a stable recycling economy. This stability will hopefully encourage the development of realistic and innovative local solutions to deal with our isolation from global markets.


Betty Irwin

1. There has to be a goal and, even though the City did not reach their 50% diversion rate by 2015 as hoped, I feel that setting out a new goal of 50% by 2021 commits the City to continue its efforts.

2. I support the concept of a residential blue box system but we have to be aware of the financial implications—additional trucks and drivers, for example and also resistance from those who already recycle. Entering into an Extended Producer Responsibility program should be more actively pursued by the Territorial Government.


Darrell Hookey

1. Yes, 50% is a reasonable and achievable goal. But to reach it, the City needs to remove the $150,000 cap on Diversion Credits. And, yes, the ban should stay in place to maximize resources of Raven and P&M Recycling.

2. No, the City should not implement its own Blue Box Program. The City did nothing, so entrepreneurs at Whitehorse Blue Bin Recycling took the initiative and provided this valuable service. It is available to those who want it and does not needlessly raise taxes for those who like to visit Raven for their recycling.


Colin LaForme

1. I would like to see Zero Waste, have a ban on single-use plastics and come up with better ways to reuse all material that comes North. The truth is that what comes up here stays up here and that this is a larger social responsibility issue than just that of the cities. 

2. I am for the idea but not at this time. Until we develop a sustainable plan to deal with our recyclables. It would be an added burden to an already taxed city. There are private companies already filling this gap. 


Scott Etches

1. I am painfully aware as to the necessity of diversion. I am concerned that the current landfill is not sealed but am pleased about the new e-waste initiative. I support any ban of compostables into landfills and see this as a business opportunity for new industry.  We can be a leader.  

2. To keep our title as a Wilderness City we need to keep our footprint light. Blue bins will help us.


Dan Boyd

1. Yes. This has been the goal for sometime and I believe we need to continue to try to achieve it. Over past few years we experienced a huge surge in Construction and Demolition Waste entering the landfill. This has been a major limiting factor in achieving our 50% diversion goal. Yes I will commit to enforcing the current ban on cardboard, organics and e-waste.

2. Not at this time. The City examined implementing a blue bin program and found it was too expensive and the cost benefit did not support a program at this time. The City found that a blue bin program would have no significant impact on the rate in which landfill is filling up. The blue bin program would not receive glass and styrofoam packaging; these would continue to go into the landfill. The private sector is providing a blue bin service. 


Jocelyn Curteanu

1. I am a little discouraged to hear that our diversion rate has actually fallen in the past three years.  I know that we've experienced some hiccups along the way and our progress had been hampered by various factors, however, the current ban on cardboard, organics and e-waste have been some huge steps forward and I honestly believe we are headed in the right direction. I think in light of these recent advancements, the City should probably re-evaluate our goal and see how we can capitalize on the momentum of our diversion efforts. The City should continue working diligently with our partners, stakeholders and citizens to get us to the 50% diversion goal sooner rather than later, but I also hope that 50% is merely an interim objective. My hope is to achieve a much higher diversion rate in the future.

2. I am supportive of a residential blue box program and feel it could be one of the most effective ways of achieving waste diversion.  However, in order to ensure the program's success, the City must find a means to deliver it in an affordable and sustainable manner. A previous attempt by the City to institute mandatory curbside recycling was defeated due to the public outcry at fees that came out higher than expected. I believe that the citizens of Whitehorse are environmentally conscious and would like to see waste diverted from the landfill, but they are also concerned about getting the best bang for their buck. The City's challenge is to educate the public about not only the importance of waste diversion but it should also be able to present a compelling "business case" to justify the additional cost. Waste management is the responsibility of every citizen, business and organization in the community and will require "buy-in" from all parties.  


Steve Roddick

1. Yes! Throwing cardboard, organics and e-waste in the trash is an individual action that has a negative impact on our landfill, and imposes a collective cost on tax-payers. If I elected, I commit to working with administration to improve enforcement capacity, as well as waste diversion education.

2. While residential recycling covers only a small part of the waste that arrives at our landfill, it is low-hanging fruit that we can and should do more to address. I am cautiously supportive of residential recycling pick-up, and believe our next Mayor & Council should revisit this matter.


Laura Cabott

1. Yes and yes.

2. Recycling diverts waste from landfill, conserves resources, saves energy, supports a green economy, it makes our City more healthy and I believe many people support it.


Dan Curtis 

1. Yes of course I support it, always have always will. We are diverting 3,000 tonnes of cardboard a year from our landfill in partnership with our business community. Compost being collected from businesses and multi residential buildings will help us divert 1,000 tonnes of compost.

2. Yes, I have supported this in the past and have never stop believing it is the right thing to do to help us reach our diversion goals. 


Oshea Jephson

1. I will commit to increasing the City's diversion rate to 50%. I think the city is already doing a lot of work to reduce cardboard in its landfill. The addition of compost in multi-unit buildings is a great step, and Raven is now accepting e-waste. Now it's about education!

2. I would support a blue box program in the city of Whitehorse. We need to remove as many barriers as possible for people to recycle versus throwing recyclables in the trash. 


Danny Macdonald

1. To set a goal of 50% diversion, the City needs to find a way to fund 50% diversion instead of the current 20% funding cap. When imposing a ban on products, the City needs to make sure that alternatives are in place for all residents and businesses affected.


2. I support the current blue box residential program. To move forward on waste diversion, the City should prioritize those gaps in the system that businesses and the NGO sector haven't resolved, for example multi-residential units and apartments, as well as working on construction and demolition waste.


Jim Cahill

1. Yes to both.

2. Yes. I think a residential blue box program will go a long way to help divert waste from our landfill. It will also aid in the conservation of resources and energy saving.


Jan Stick

1. Yes, but I think we can aim higher! I support a level of enforcement on banning cardboard, organics and e-waste in the trash. As a business owner I am aware of how much can and should be diverted. I also know the negative impact it has on our landfill, and collective cost on tax-payers. If I elected, I commit to working with administration to improve enforcement capacity, as well as waste diversion education for individuals and business.

2. I believe that residential recycling is something that makes us feel that we are helping divert waste that arrives at our landfill. We can and should do more to address this, and I would like to see some options of how a residential blue box program can be implemented. A job for the new Mayor and Council!


Cory Adams

1. I'm going to be realistic on this the city's diversion rate has dropped 8% in 3 years you can commit to 50% but it will never happen. I believe you need to commit back to 34% and by 2024 have the new goal set out to 50% the city can do it's part by educating and encouraging  the community.

2. The blue box program I support and I don't believe the city needs to take this away from a private business as they are doing a good job. If more residents use this system less waste end up in the landfill as a city we need encourage people to use this.


David Laxton 

1. I am of the view that diverting our waste and unwanted items from the landfill is a continuing struggle. The methods we have available are recycling, composting and ‘repurpose/ reuse’ (i.e. one person’s trash is another’s treasure). I not only support these existing measures but welcome the opportunity to examine and discuss new, possibly innovative waste management concepts. That said, you propose commitments to specific percentage goals and timeframes, as well as current bans on some material. I firmly believe that any decision to meet such ends first depends on a thorough and reasonable consideration of the facts as opposed to making a personal decision based on what I subjectively think might be the right course of action.”

2. My wife and I do our own recycling and see many other citizens doing the same. I know others who pay a $20 pick-up fee to use the existing privatized Blue Box program and are quite happy with it. A city-implemented residential blue box program would have to be mandatory for every household and come with a cost. This expense would be added to property owner utility bills and have unintended consequences. For example, it might cause landlords to pass on these costs to their renters, thus adding to their rental/utility payments. The City may have to purchase more vehicles (potentially specialized ones), hire more unionized staff or issue contracts, again increasing taxes. It may also put a serious strain on the current private business already providing this service and employing staff to do so. As to this last example, I do not support putting a small business out of business, especially one doing a good job.