North

Whitehorse scraps landfill 'reuse store'

Mayor Dan Curtis says the facility is too expensive to manage, and doesn't even divert much waste from the landfill. 'People were dumping a lot of stuff that was considered garbage.'

City councillors decided the facility was too expensive to manage

The 'reuse store', which occupies a garage at the landfill site, allowed residents to drop off usable items that might otherwise end up in the landfill. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

Whitehorse city councillors have decided the "reuse store" at the city landfill is more trouble than it's worth and voted Monday to permanently close it.

The facility, which occupies a garage at the landfill site, allowed residents to drop off usable items that might otherwise end up in the landfill. It was "temporarily" closed last spring after city staff found a syringe in a pile of old clothes, prompting concerns about the safety of staff managing the facility.

Mayor Dan Curtis says the city has looked at ways to keep the facility open, but hasn't found an affordable solution.

"The cost was going to be quite enormous to man that facility," said Curtis. 

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis says about 90 per cent of the goods dropped off at the reuse store 'was considered garbage.' (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

Curtis also said the reuse store didn't always serve its intended purpose of finding new homes for unwanted goods. He says about 90 per cent of those goods ended up in the landfill.

"Unfortunately, people were dumping a lot of stuff that was considered garbage," he said.

Curtis said the city is still committed to waste diversion, but a reuse store is not the answer.

"We just don't have a solution in the sense of addressing it overnight, but I know that we have our administration working very hard and continuing to look at all the options."

Two other local organizations that deal with used goods — Raven Recycling and the Salvation Army thrift store — have been overwhelmed by donations since the city's reuse store closed last spring. 

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