Some Yukon recycling facilities are asking people to hold onto their recyclables in the coming weeks. Many facilities have closed or are limiting their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Whitehorse, both P & M Recycling and Raven Recycling stopped accepting bottles and other refundables after the news on Sunday evening that two people in the city tested positive for COVID-19. Both organizations cited the risk to their staff and the users. “It was a tough decision to make, but the right one,” said Pat McInroy of P & M, in an email to CBC.

Raven’s executive director Joy Snyder said she planned to stop accepting refundables as of this Friday, but COVID-19 in Yukon changed everything. “We felt it was much more prudent and more responsible to the community to act right away,” Snyder said.

She said the outdoor bins for household recyclables are closing at the end of business hours Tuesday. Snyder said the e-waste drop off area will remain open. She said the government is concerned people would otherwise dump electronics containing hazardous wastes at landfills.

She is also making a plea to the public to not take refundables and recyclables to the landfill, but rather hang onto them for the time being. “In two or three months we’ll be open, we’ll be ready for business and we can start to collect their stuff,” she said.

The City of Whitehorse also sent a news release on Tuesday asking residents to store their recyclables for now, “either in your house, garage or shed.” If people cannot store the material, the city says it will now accept recyclables in its regular curbside garbage collection.

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Author: Dave Croft, CBC News
Photo: Philippe Morin, CBC