Letter to the Editor from Raven Recycling President - January 4, 2018
The Yukon Government is doing another round of consultations on the Designated Material Regulations (DMR). They are looking for the public to provide input in the next month. The Raven Recycling Society sees this as a great opportunity for the territory to continue implementing a recycling system that is consistent with the rest of the country as agreed to by the Canadian Ministers of the Environment in 2009.
The DMR operates as a user pay system where the consumer pays for the cost of recycling a product up front so there are no fees charged at the landfill. In other jurisdictions using this model, communities have seen more materials recycled, hazardous materials kept out of landfills and illegal dumping reduced.
Under the current DMR, fees on tires help pay for the cost of recycling. The proposed changes include increasing the fees as well as adding new sizes of tires. In addition, electronic and electrical products will be added to the program. It is ideal if the fees collected cover the cost of recycling the material.
The sooner the regulations for tires and e-waste are passed (and we’ve been waiting years), the sooner consultations can begin on other important materials that need to be kept out of the territory’s landfills. They include: used oils and antifreeze, Household Hazardous Waste, unused paint, products that contain mercury, mixed packaging, batteries and large appliances.
If you are interested in learning more, here is a link to YG’s news release as well as information on public meetings to be held the evenings of January 9 and 10 at the Westmark Whitehorse ballroom. http://www.gov.yk.ca/news/17-262.html. If you live outside of Whitehorse let YG know you are interested in participating remotely by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Raven Recycling Society
2018 Indoor Community Garage Sale & Reuse Fair!
Letter to the editor, December 1, 2017
Raven Recycling has been feeling the effects of China’s “green fence” and here is what that means for Yukon recyclers. Similar to 2008, the North American recycling markets have become unpredictable.
China is once again enforcing regulations to make sure that North American recycling materials going to China have less than a 0.3% contamination rate. Materials get dirty when they are not sorted properly or include non-recyclable materials. It also occurs when paper materials are wet and plastic materials are covered in food residue.
Before materials leave for China, the North American recycling mills inspect the loads and send dirty materials off to a landfill. If Raven sends dirty product, we will pay the landfill tipping fees and our product may not be accepted by the mill the next time.
In order to make sure that our materials will be accepted by the recycling mills in Vancouver and Tacoma, we are working with Whitehorse Blue Bin Recycling (WBBR) and asking all our customers to help keep our contamination levels as low as possible.
First, please make sure your container is recyclable by checking the Raven website. http://www.ravenrecycling.org/what-can-i-recycle
Second, we are asking the public to consistently clean foodstuffs out of all containers before bringing them to Raven or putting them out for collection by the WBBR. This will help ensure food will not contaminate the plastic and paper products
Third, as of January 2nd, 2018, customers of WBBR will be asked to sort their recycling into two streams; a dry paper stream and a clean container stream. WBBR will be offering their customers a reusable fibre bag for their paper products to make the separation easier and help reduce the number of plastic bags handled by Raven staff. Sorting at Raven’s public drop off will remain the same.
Finally, with sorting being more important than ever, Raven customers are asked to please check the signage to ensure you are placing your items in the correct bunkers. Information about WBBR's new two-stream system can be found on their website. Plastic bags (film plastic) should be collected in a larger plastic bag and tied securely. This helps the sorting process in Raven’s warehouse.
To date, we have been successful in weathering the many ups and downs of the recycling markets thanks to the commitment of the community and the support of government. On behalf of WBBR and Raven staff, I would like to thank Yukon residents and businesses for helping ensure our recycling gets to market.
Christmas lights donations to support the Outreach Van!
2018 Recycling and Zero Waste Working Forum
Zero Waste Yukon has received funding from the Community Development Fund to host a territory wide Recycling and Zero Waste Forum in April of 2018!
This working forum will bring stakeholders together to discuss new recycling regulations, operational issues, and the future of recycling in the Territory. It will also provide resources for attendees to implement Zero Waste practices in their communities. This event will also be a platform for idea sharing, streamlining of operations, and inspiration that will help guide the future of recycling and Zero Waste in the Territory.
Zero Waste Yukon is thrilled to host Eric Lombardi as a keynote speaker for the event. With over 25 years of experience building the largest Zero Waste social enterprise in America, Eric is an accomplished public speaker, policy advocate, and strategic community planner with front-line knowledge of Zero Waste and the recycling industry.
Contact email@example.com for more information about the Recycling and Zero Waste Working Forum!