Waste Management

The City of Whitehorse Waste Management Facility (WMF) is located approximately six kilometres north of downtown Whitehorse at Mile 91972 (Mile 919.72) on the Alaska Highway. The WMF includes the landfill, compost facility, and transfer station. Find the WMF turn-off on Google Maps.

The facility is open:

  • Weekdays – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Weekends – 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The facility is closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

The Waste Management Facility offers waste disposal, composting, and recycling opportunities.

Tipping Fees

Waste is subject to tipping fees. A list of the fees is available for download here. Fees and descriptions are listed in the City of Whitehorse Fees & Charges bylaw.

Controlled Waste – you must sort and separate controlled waste before disposal

Certain types of waste are categorized in the Waste Management Bylaw as controlled, which means they must be sorted from your general waste for special handling, composting, or recycling. Unsorted waste will be subject to a higher tipping fee. See the tipping fee list for the fees to dispose of these items.

The materials do not go in regular waste or garbage.

Waste Sorting Categories:

  • Cardboard – clean and wax free
  • Bulky items such as mattresses, bed springs, all furniture, and wooden fencing
  • Clean wood waste, including unpainted pallets and wood without treatment, stain, paint or glue.
  • Construction and demolition waste including gyproc, treated wood, planking, siding, plastic, fiberglass fixtures, carpet, underlay, cupboards, counter tops, sinks, toilets, and more.
  • Compostables or “Organics” including all food waste, food scraps, food soiled paper, and bones.
  • Large Scrap Metal, including filing cabinets, hot water tanks, metal roofing, metal fencing, metal desks and furniture, metal wiring, propane tanks with valves removed, purged fuel tanks cut in half, cleaned and purged barrels with lids removed, sheet iron, vehicle parts without fluids
  • Fridges, freezers, air conditioners
  • White goods: dishwashers, stoves, ovens, laundry machines
  • Uncontaminated soil
  • Grubbing material
  • Manure, kennel material, excreta and fish processing material
  • Asbestos, and cold incinerator ash.
  • Animal parts and carcasses, but not slaughter waste
  • Tires with an inner diameter smaller than 39 inches, removed from rims, may be deposited without charge. Larger tires are subject to a fee.

Banned Waste – not accepted at the Waste Management Facility

Some waste is banned from the landfill. However, some types of banned waste do have local disposal options.

Banned waste:

  • Electronic and electrical waste, includes corded and cordless items. These items may be recycled for free at the Raven Recycling E-waste Collection Depot. Visit ravenrecycling.org/e-waste for more information
  • Hazardous waste. See the Hazardous Waste page for more information.
  • Bio-medical waste, including dressings, bandages or other infected material and hypodermic needles.
  • Slaughter waste
  • Highly combustible and explosive material including ammunition, celluloid cuttings and cellulose film, chemicals, oil or gasoline soaked material, propane tanks with the valve on, unpurged fuel tanks.
  • Liquid waste, including sewage or sludge, septic tank pumpings, and sump waste.
  • 45 gallon drums not purged or with lids on
  • Radioactive waste
  • Waste from international air travel
  • Contaminated soil
  • Vehicles
  • Incinerator waste that is special waste

Compost and Compostable Waste

Compostable waste (what we call organics) may be disposed of for a fee of $52/tonne, $5 per small load, and $3 for up to 3 bags (not more than 20kg). Find out more at whitehorse.ca/compost.

Bagged compost is available for purchase! Visit whitehorse.ca/compostforsale for more information

Recyclable Waste

Recyclables should be brought to a local recycling depot. Residents can bring recycling to either of the following locations:

  • P&M Recycling at 607 Ray Street
  • Raven Recycling at 100 Galena Road

Residents can also organize recycling collection through Whitehorse Blue Bin Recycling.

Not recyclable in Whitehorse: non-beverage glass (such as jars) and styrofoam. Please place these items in regular garbage.

Residents can bring household hazardous waste to the Waste Management Facility for free on specific dates. Learn more about Waste Related Events!

Try our online app for help finding local disposal options, to receive residential collection reminders, and more!

We’ve all seen it at one time or another: garbage, old appliances, broken TVs, mattresses and other waste items dumped in the bush. Even old freezer meat seems to be “fair game”. We know dumping our waste in the wilderness is wrong, but for some reason, that last point seems to escape some of us. Unfortunately, illegal dumping, also known as ‘fly tipping’, is a common problem in many Canadian municipalities, including Whitehorse.

Learn More

The City’s compost facility has been producing a superior product and defying beliefs that composting north of 60° is difficult or even impossible. Our compost meets the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) standard, making it approved for use in organic operations.

Learn More

People living in country residential do not pay utility fees and do not receive water and waste services.

Learn More

The way waste is handled by organizations, waste service providers and the City of Whitehorse is changing. Requirements are in place to have our waste resources separated for recycling and composting. The Whitehorse landfill is filling faster than ever before. Increasing waste diversion will give us the time to save for the estimated ~13.5 million to close the existing and $13.7 million to open a new landfill.

Learn More

Zero waste essentially shifts the idea of making a product “go away” at the landfill to becoming an input resource to be used again.

It transforms the linear “take, make, waste” model into a circular system, where materials are reused.

It begins by avoiding creating waste in the first place by:

Rethinking consumption
Redesign products to endure
Reduce what you can
Reuse as much as possible
Recycle or Rot (compost) what remains

Learn More

Whitehorse is surrounded for thousands of kilometres with pristine wilderness, home to wildlife large and small. While many Canadians in the south can only hope to catch a glimpse of a bear while on vacation somewhere else, we’re trying to reduce human-animal interactions where we live, work and play. With this incredible gift of living in close proximity to wilderness comes the collective responsibility to keep it wild. An important part of keeping our wilderness wild is properly managing our waste, as well as other “attractants”.  We can do this by being accountable for our waste, prevent illegal dumping or over filling a waste receptacle. Wildlife habituated to waste leads to human-wildlife interactions which could prove deadly for the animal. This includes, foxes, coyotes and bears!

Learn More

Find education resources.

Learn More

Tips and Tools

Developing a system that works best for you, your family and staff is key to waste diversion. Here are some tips on creating a successful waste diversion program.

Waste diversion works best as a one-stop-shop sorting station. Creating easy access to sorting is one of the first steps to increasing your waste diversion.

You are required to sort: organics, cardboard, metals, clean wood, appliances, electronic waste and hazardous waste. Check out our new Waste Sorting Guide and Organics Sorting Guide. Click and print copies for your home and office.

Clear, to-the-point signs with labels increases the success of your waste strategy. Feel free to print and use these signs, or make your own. Make sure your signage is placed where it is easy for people to see.

Bathroom Organic Waste

Organic Waste

Successes

As the City of Whitehorse works towards 50% less and zero waste 2050, good things are happening. Whitehorse citizens are increasing their diversion efforts through recycling and composting. Our diversion rate per capita is increasing steadily over the last 5 years and is at a current rate of 33%.

Diversion of organic waste is also on an upswing—we diverted over 2700 tonnes in 2021, and it looks like we’ll surpass this in 2022! Much of this success can be attributed to our local businesses and organizations participating in our new commercial collection program.

The flip side of diverting organic waste is creating nutrient rich compost, right up at our Waste Management Facility. Our black gold has been selling like hotcakes and we’ve hardly been able to keep up with demand!

Our compost is also being put to good use on City properties. Past projects include:

  • For 2020, 2021 & 2022:

Whistle Bend Tree Replacement: 40 yards/yr

Downtown Upgrade (tree replacement on Main St, 3rd Ave and 4th Ave): 35 yards/yr

  • For 2020 only:

Shipyards Hill Landscaping Project: 50 yards

  • For 2021 only:

Two Mile Hill sign bed soil replacement: 45 yards

Morley/Peel raised beds soil replacement: 15 yards

New Self-watering planters: 10 yards

  • For 2022 only:

New Tree Nursery: 50 yards

  • Regular operations, recurrent every year:

Memorial Tree Program: 5 yards/yr

Main Street Hanging Baskets: 10 yards/yr

Amendments to all gardens: 30 yards/yr

Our Solid Waste Action Plan (SWAP) received a prestigious Sustainable Communities Award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2014.

Bylaw and Policies

The City of Whitehorse has a responsibility, on behalf of citizens, to ensure that waste management is handled as professionally and efficiently as possible. Waste management costs are closely reviewed and allocated based on activity (landfill, compost and recycling). The 2021 net cost of waste management in Whitehorse was approximately $4 million (this includes the cost of residential curbside collection).

The Waste Management Cost Recovery Policy establishes a fee structure for waste management services that accounts for the full cost of providing those services. Whitehorse operates under a user-pay system, meaning that no tax dollars are used to manage waste. Those who make the waste pay for the waste. As per the policy, tipping fees are calculated to cover the cost of collection, processing, treatment, monitoring, diversion and/or disposal services for solid waste. Costs associated with landfill closure and ongoing monitoring are also included. Residents in town pay for curbside collection service through utility fees, which include both the tipping fee as well as the collection fee. Residents without curbside collection pay tipping fees at the Waste Management facility. The 2021 net cost of waste management in Whitehorse was approximately $4 million.

The Fees and Charges Bylaw is where you can find up to date tipping fees charges at the waste management facility. This bylaw includes all charges the City of Whitehorse has, so for convenience sake, here is a list of all current tipping fees.

The Solid Waste Diversion Credit Policy offers Whitehorse recycling organizations financial credit for solid waste diversion through recycling efforts. Diversion credits of $75/tonne are paid quarterly for eligible material, up to a maximum of $150,000/year.

Illegal Dumping

We’ve all seen it at one time or another: garbage, old appliances, broken TVs, mattresses and other waste items dumped in the bush. Even old freezer meat seems to be “fair game.” We know dumping our waste in the wilderness is wrong, but for some reason, that last point seems to escape some of us. Unfortunately, illegal dumping, also known as “fly tipping,” is a common problem in many Canadian municipalities, including Whitehorse.

  • Throwing waste, including appliances and bulky items, into green spaces, lakes and rivers;
  • Dumping household waste into garbage bins at City parks and at highway rest stops;
  • Bringing household waste to work and throwing it in the bin there without employer permission (this is known as a theft of service);
  • Driving around looking for someone else’s waste bin, (this is also known as theft of service);
  • Dropping off unacceptable material at the Waste Management Facility by concealing it; and
  • Leaving waste at the gate of the Waste Management Facility after hours.

Illegal dumping not only ruins the natural beauty around us, but also pollutes the environment when electronic waste, hazardous waste and other items containing heavy metals and toxics are left exposed to the elements.

Illegal dumping costs us all.

The truth is, illegal dumping is wrong whether it is in our rivers, forests or someone else’s bin. Proper disposal of our waste is one of many important parts of the City’s waste management plan, and our goal of 50% waste diversion and zero waste by 2050. Composting, source separating and putting waste where it belongs is one of the best ways to do the right thing, reduce the burden and cost on our landfill and environment, and get us closer to 50%.

Help keep Yukon wild by reporting illegal dump sites within City limits to Bylaw Services at 667-2111, or to Environment Yukon’s TIPP line at 1-800-661-0525 for dump sites beyond municipal jurisdiction. Whitehorse citizens and community groups are also working to stop illegal dumping. The City thanks these groups for their hard work and commitment to a cleaner and greener Whitehorse.

Signs have been installed at some known illegal dumping areas, and we’re encouraging residents to call Bylaw Services (667-2111) to report illegal dumping. The City is also increasing monitoring and public education efforts, and exploring the use of portable cameras.

Dangerous and explosive materials are not accepted at the Waste Management Facility. Please be aware when dealing with explosives. Contact the RCMP at 667-5555 if you need help identifying explosive materials.

Report Illegal Dumping

History on Whitehorse Waste Management

Standard practices in waste management have changed drastically over the years, and continue to do so as science and technology advances, and as social norms evolve. We’ve come a long way in Whitehorse.

All waste was simply thrown off the cliff into McIntyre Creek. This practice continued until the early 1990s.

The War Eagle Pit (an old copper mine) was used to landfill the City’s waste. In 1989 a group of volunteers from Yukon Conservation Society started collecting and recycling aluminium cans from the public.

Waste continued to be thrown off the cliff into McIntyre Creek until the current landfill was built. Raven Recycling Society was started in 1990 as a non-profit social enterprise. In 1992 Yukon Government developed one of the first Beverage Container Regulations in the country, placing a surcharge on beverage containers to pay for the handling and processing of listed materials. Whitehorse’s first Solid Waste Action Plan was adopted in 1995.  P&M Recycling was started in 1996 as a for-profit recycling depot offering recycling services to the public. Scales were installed at the Waste Management Facility in 1998, providing the first accurate weight-based data to track annual landfilled waste based on origin. That same year a volunteer curbside organics collection program was started. Tipping fees were implemented in 1999.

A neighborhood organics collection program was piloted in 2001, and City-wide curbside organics collection began in 2002. Recognizing the toxic legacy that landfills impose upon the environment, landfill closure liability (LCL) requirements were established by the Public Sector Accounting Board in 2004. The LCL is money set aside each year to pay for the clean-up and final closure of our current landfill. The yearly LCL dollar amount is directly correlated with the volume of waste landfilled. In 2007 the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was adopted, recognizing the importance of waste management and recommended a Zero Waste target by 2040. Discussions with Council and Yukon Government identified a 50% waste reduction goal by 2015 as a short-term target. The City started operating the compost facility in 2008. In 2009 black and green curbside carts came to Whitehorse, enabling the City to automate collection.

In 2010 the Whitehorse Waste Management Facility became a regional site, taking in waste from incorporated and non-incorporated communities within the area around Whitehorse as far south as Teslin. The current SWAP was adopted in 2013 and waste management identified as a strategic priority. Waste diversion started to increase. Cardboard and clean wood were banned from the landfill in 2014, and in 2015 commercial organic waste was also banned. In 2017 the Whitehorse Blue Bin recycling program began in collaboration with Raven Recycling. In 2019 the commercial organics program began for food services and multi-unit complexes.

In 2021 the single use plastic bag ban began. More businesses and food services are added to the commercial organics program.