Yukon Increases Diversion Credits

Connector Fall 2016

Local recycling processors are welcoming a recent announcement by the Yukon government committing up to $717,010 to diversion credits and an increase to processing fees on recyclable beverage containers.

Diversion credits are funding provided to recyclers for non-refundable recyclable waste, in recognition that they are keeping that waste out of the landfill. The amount each recycler receives in diversion credits is based on the weight of recyclables they ship out.

The 2015/16 fiscal year saw the territory commit up to $573,000 to the credits, while the City of Whitehorse added an additional $57,300 to the $150,000 for the diversion credits it provides.

In addition to increasing the diversion credits, the territory also announced an overall increase of 20% to the processing fees that are paid to recyclers on the refundable beverage containers collected.

“This increase in funding will reduce the pressure faced by our local processors and give us the time needed to implement a recycling system that is financially and environmentally sustainable,” Community Services Minister Currie Dixon said in a statement.

The city, territory, and local recyclers have been working in recent years on more long-term approaches to recycling. The city recently opted not to move forward with a curbside collection program due to the high costs, but has made changes to its diversion credit system as has the territory. The territory also recently opted to hold off on planned changes to the deposits paid on beverage containers as well as new fees that were planned for other products to cover the costs of recycling.

Officials with the two recycling processors in town – P&M Recycling and Raven Recycling – offered praises for the move.

“It is good news,” Raven’s executive director Joy Snyder said, though she added it does not address the issue of how to fund the cost of recycling into the future.

“We still don’t have a system,” she said. “This is a Band-Aid.”

Source: Whitehorse Daily Star