Recycling services, tipping fees temporarily suspended in light of COVID-19 pandemic

In order to protect users and workers at waste facilities from the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Yukon has requested that during the COVID-19 public health emergency all free stores and recycling depots close on or before April 1, 2020.

Where possible, we are asking the public to clean and store recycling until services resume. Alternatively, put your recycling in your household waste. E-waste drop-offs at Raven Recycling and rural recycling depots will remain open during this time.

The introduction of tipping fees at the waste facilities in Carcross, Tagish, Mount Lorne, Marsh Lake and Deep Creek will be delayed until recycling services resume.

Meanwhile, illegal dumping fines will increase on April 1, 2020. Increasing fines for offences under the Environment Act and the Solid Waste Regulations are needed because fines are out of date and too low to be a meaningful penalty.

Suspending recycling services is not something we would have hoped for. However, we all need to take every measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the territory. We encourage Yukoners to stay two metres apart from other people when they go to the dump, and to wash their hands thoroughly before and after their visit. Now is a great time to be creative about re-using your recyclables - for example, you could use egg cartons for seed trays as we get ready for spring gardening.

Minister of Community Services John Streicker

The Government of Yukon has set significant penalties to discourage illegal dumping. There is no place for garbage and hazardous waste in our wild spaces, ditches or waterways. While these fines were planned to take effect before having to respond to COVID-19, we appreciate the extra diligence and effort from Yukoners to manage their waste legally and responsibly.  

Minister of Environment Pauline Frost

Quick facts 
  • Some rural depots may have already closed. Contact your local recycling depot to make sure they are open before you plan to drop off your recycling.

  • Unlawful handling/disposing of solid waste is going up from $200 to $1,000. Littering is going up from $50 to $500. Find a full list of fines on Yukon.ca/en/illegal-dumping

  • Whitehorse Blue Bin Recycling will continue to offer roadside collection of paper products only.

  • Raven Recycling closed their public drop off on March 25. P&M Recycling also closed their depot on March 23.

  • If you are choosing to store your recycling until services resume, make sure it is in a cool, dry, indoor location, secure from wildlife.

  • Do not leave your refundable bottles or beverage containers at the recycling depot. Choose to store them securely until recycling resumes or put them in your household garbage.

  • Some studies suggest that the coronavirus can live for up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

  • Please go to Yukon.ca for the most up to date information on the coronavirus in Yukon.

Contact 

Stewart Burnett
Cabinet Communications
867-332-0480
stewart.burnett@gov.yk.ca

Kara Johancsik
Communications, Community Services
867-332-1237
kara.johancsik@gov.yk.ca

News release #: 
20-082