Sixty-nine per cent of Whitehorse residents polled in the Yukon say that curbside recycling will “make it easier” for them to recycle, but only 52 per cent are willing to cover the increased costs of the service.
City officials released the winter 2014 poll results on Jan. 13, 2015, organized in part to help Whitehorse meet its waste diversion goal of 50 per cent less waste by 2015.
The City heard from over 1,900 residents in response to its online residential curbside recycling collection survey.
Officials estimate that curbside recycling would cost Whitehorse families an additional $15 per month.
The City will soon publicly release a Request for Expression of Interest for recycling collection and processing services.
“The response to this survey was impressive,” said Mayor Dan Curtis in a statement. “We can see that Whitehorse citizens care about recycling in our community. We understand people are concerned about costs, and we are working with our partners to make sure this service is as cost-effective as possible,” Curtis added.
96% of respondents voiced their support for recycling
69% agree that curbside collection will make it easier for them to recycle, while 18% disagree
52% willing to pay a fee to cover recycling costs, 29% are not willing to pay, and 19% aren’t sure
57% would prefer bi-weekly collection, 20% support weekly and 13% choose monthly
68% are willing to separate materials in order to save $1to $5/month
11% of residents would like the City to maintain the status quo.
Recycling has been undertaken by residents either using a private collection service or dropping off the majority of recyclable materials at two private recycling processors in Whitehorse: P&M Recycling and Raven Recycling. The system has been subsidized by a $75/tonne diversion credit provided by both the Yukon Government and the City of Whitehorse for non-BCR (Beverage Container Refundable) materials (e.g. beer cans and pop bottles). The total diversion credit is $150/tonne which is obtained from other solid waste program revenues.
“These survey results will help inform the design of a new curbside recycling program,” said Deputy Mayor John Streicker. “This is valuable feedback. The next step is to seek more input from the private sector for the design of this program.”