Letter: We’re on the right path — let’s keep it that way

Get a curbside recycling plan done, say recycling centre officials
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Last week, the Whitehorse mayor and council decided to implement curbside recycling. The voices of our community have been heard, and our elected leaders have responded with a commitment to environmental stewardship.

This decision is more than just a stopgap measure. It is a crucial step towards a sustainable future for Whitehorse. The curbside program we are establishing should raise the bar for collection, setting a high standard for the producers of recyclable materials to inherit under the new recycling regulation. We are hopeful that these producers will step up now and help design a service that fits seamlessly into the extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulation. This is the least that Amazon, Tim Hortons, Walmart and all businesses that profit from the sale of paper and packaging can do to offset the impact that their packaging choices have on our land, water and people.

It is up to all of us to ensure this program becomes the foundation for a comprehensive, long-term recycling strategy. Collection is the easy part. We need to guarantee that materials are truly recycled, not incinerated or landfilled. Raven, as an organization with an environmental lens, has established as high a standard as possible in this area but we will no longer be processing the material after September. It is vital that the city considers where the material is sent and remains involved even after EPR implementation. Their continued involvement will be crucial in maintaining high standards and protecting our community's interests.

This cannot just be about convenience for single-family homes in Whitehorse. We have achieved a great deal, but mayor and council’s decision is just one step towards a new and more effective course for recycling for the whole territory.

Our actions today will shape the environmental legacy we leave for future generations. Let’s continue to make good decisions together.

Jacqueline Bedard, Past President and Heather Ashthorn, Executive Director

Raven ReCentre