Whitehorse moves closer to waste-free by 2040

With a new ‘enviro-processor’ chewing up compost, the city of Whitehorse has taken one more step towards its goal of becoming waste-free by 2040.
The new enviro-processor at the Whitehorse landfill is a machine that grinds up compost, like a giant garburator, before dumping it in piles to rot. Another new machine at the landfill helps sort compost. (CBC)

It’s being called an investment in Whitehorse's future and another step towards the city’s goal of being waste-free by 2040.

The city has received $660,000 from the federal gas tax and $800,000 from the Building Canada Fund to make improvements to its compost facility.

Among its new purchases is the enviro-processor, a machine that grinds up compost like a giant garburator. Another machine helps sort compost.

Community Services minister Brad Cathers says the new equipment will help generate marketable compost.

"It is obvious, the benefits that can be achieved by pulling organics out of what is going into our landfills and compost them to produce a product that is useful for gardens and fields, etc., and improving the value of the soil."

The city also contributed $300,000 to its Solid Waste Action Plan.

Mayor Dan Curtis says diverting waste from the landfill is a good investment.

"What we're doing right now is ensuring that (future) generations, or even our generation, our children or ourselves as elders, are not going to be devastated with this massive infrastructure cost,” Curtis says.

“I can see that if we don't do this, we're going to pay big time.”

The city also contributed $300,000 dollars to its Solid Waste Action Plan.

The program has an ambitious goal of cutting the city's waste in half by 2015, and reducing it to zero waste by 2040.

It includes expansion to curbside compost collection for businesses and apartment buildings.

The city's landfill is expected to last another forty years .

The Whitehorse landfill expects about 4,000 tons of compost to come through the landfill annually over the next few years.