'Enormous escalations' in dump use means new opportunity for Yukon businesses
'It's simpler in many ways just going out to public tender,' says government spokesperson
The Yukon government says hiring contractors to maintain waste disposal sites in two small communities is a way to avoid volunteer burnout, and streamline operations.
The two stations are in Mount Lorne and Marsh Lake. The government has not announced any successful bidders yet.
Dave Albisser, director of operations and programs for the department of Community Services, says the small stations have seen "enormous escalations" in use.
"It's increased to the point where they're seeing over 100 or 150 vehicles a day in those sites, which is comparable to Whitehorse," he said.
Albisser says he recognizes that volunteers have limits. He says there's also benefit in standardizing all stations across Yukon and reducing paperwork.
"We do sometimes face volunteer burnout, and these societies require boards to be involved and they have to report financially to the Yukon government on all required-by-law processes and submit all the financial statements, et cetera," he said.
"There is a lot of work there, and we don't really require that work. It's simpler in many ways just going out to public tender."
The Yukon government will remain responsible for waste management overall. However, it will pay organizations that manage the facilities, in some cases based on the amount of recyclable waste they collect.
The changeover at Mount Lorne and Marsh Lake comes amid a scheduled contract renewal process for all rural waste stations which is happening this year.
The Yukon government says it will retain authority to assess the work, promising intermittent site inspections by Community Services, and Environment Yukon.
The government also warns it will cancel contracts if work is deemed insufficient.
"If there are four documented instances of deficiencies or performance issues that have not been corrected by the Contractor within the agreed upon time frames, the Owner has the right to cancel the contract." says the description of work for Tagish.
Recyclable material at community stations is collected and shipped to Whitehorse, where either Raven Recycling or PNW handle processing.
In Marsh Lake, some people involved in the former Marsh Lake Solid Waste Society have formed a new corporate entity to operate the transfer station.
Albisser says that means some people will continue in their roles.
"In Marsh Lake, the existing staff are essentially the people that will be running it day to day for the contractor."
About 20 stations are maintained throughout Yukon, each offering different services.