Department of Community Services

Operations & Programs

Easy for you, easy for the environment

In spring 2016, the Government of Yukon made changes to the territory's recycling regulations, implementing more stewardship programs.

When consumers pay the cost associated with responsibly managing the waste of their purchase, it ensures Yukoners are more conscientious about their consumption and helps make waste diversion, like recycling, more sustainable. Most of all, it helps make sure harmful products are not discarded into the environment.

Stewardship programs and regulations like these are now the norm across Canada and these changes bring Yukon in line with the rest of the country.

How do these changes affect me?

These changes will affect the surcharges you pay when you purchase certain products, as well as the refund you can collect when you recycle "ready-to-serve" beverage containers.

Now that you pay a surcharge when you purchase designated materials like tires, electronics and electrical items, no tipping fee will be charged to drop it off at the depot or solid waste facility that accepts designated materials in your community.

The changes affect the Beverage Container Regulations--which outline surcharges and refunds on products like pop cans, juice bottles and alcoholic beverages--and the Designated Material Regulation--which did not previously include all tire sizes.

Beverage Container Regulations

The Beverage Container Regulation changes will come into effect on August 11, 2016.

The Beverage Container Regulation now applies a surcharge on all "ready-to-serve" products. For the first time, this now includes containers for milk and milk substitutes like soy milk and drinkable yogurt.

All ready-to-serve products are divided into two categories:

 Size  Surcharge  Refund
750mL and more 35 cents 25 cents
Less than 750mL and greater than 29mL (including beer bottles as well as milk and milk substitutes) 10 cents 5 cents


Designated Material Regulation

The Designated Material Regulation changes will come into effect on October 11, 2016.

Previously, the Designated Material Regulation only applied a surcharge for tires with 24.5 inch rim sizes or smaller. The regulation will apply point-of-purchase surcharges for more tire sizes, electronics and electrical products (outlined in the tables below). The surcharge amounts are based on former tipping fees in Yukon and similar surcharges across Canada.

 Tire Size  Surcharge
 17 inches and smaller  $7
 18 to 22 inches  $15
 Greater than 22 inches  $50

 Electronic Products  Surcharge
 Desktop computer  $15
 Portable computer/tablet  $10
 Computer accessories (keyboard, mouse, etc)  $1
 Desktop printers, fax machines, copier equipment  $12
 Display screen 29 inches and more  $30
 Display screen less than 29 inches  $12
 Home audio/video (stereo, DVD player, etc)  $10
 Personal audio/video (MP3 player, Discman, etc)  $6
 Phone (cellular and non-cellular)  $2
 Vehicle audio/video  $6

 Electrical Products  Surcharge
 Kitchen countertop appliances (blender, toaster, etc)  $2
 Microwave ovens  $8
 Time and weight measurement devices (clocks, bathroom scales, etc)  $1
 Garment and personal care devices (iron, hair dryer, etc)  $2
 Air purifier, fan  $1
 Large floor vacuum  $5
 Small handheld vacuum  $3

What if I purchase these items online or out of territory?

Other Canadian jurisdictions already have these regulations/stewardship programs in place. If you buy a computer or phone in Alberta or British Columbia, for example, you are already paying this surcharge to the provincial government.

The Government of Yukon is establishing an agreement with a national program to ensure environmental surcharges are collected from all retailers, including online retailers and those located outside of Yukon.

As a retailer, how do these changes affect me and my business?

These changes affect the producer--the company that supplies the product in Yukon. We are working closely with all producers to ensure this transition is easy and effective.

Most producers will be required to register and some will be responsible for remitting surcharges to Yukon government. Producers will receive information from Yukon government describing the changes.

How did the government decide on the surcharge/refund amounts and which products to include?

The Government of Yukon conducted extensive consultations with the public and stakeholders before amending these regulations.

The surcharge amounts were developed specifically for Yukon, based on current tipping fees at depots and similar surcharges in other Canadian jurisdictions.

The products captured under the Recycling Regulations were identified based on the following considerations:

  • Beverage containers can be recycled into new containers and refunds on these containers help prevent roadside litter
  • Used tires take up valuablel andfill space when stored in piles above ground, provide a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos and are serious fire hazards
  • Electronic and electrical products are one of the fastest growing components of the waste stream and often contain hazardous chemicals and valuable components that can be reused

It is important to remember that Yukoners purchasing these items online or outside the territory are already being charged fees. These changes will ensure that these fees are brought back to Yukon to support recycling.

What do I do with my beverage containers and designated materials (tires, electronics and electrical items)?

All beverage containers should be recycled at your local depot or recycling centre. These changes affect some refund amounts but, overall, increase the number of items for which you can collect a refund.

Tires can be dropped off at depots and/or solid waste facilities. All other designated materials should be brought to your local solid waste facility at the end of the product's life. The changes mean that you will no longer have to pay a tipping fee for these items.

Where do these materials go?

All beverage containers from across Yukon are transported to Whitehorse, along with other recyclable materials. The two recycling processors in Whitehorse receive funding from the Government of Yukon to help them find a market for these items outside of the territory. For more information on where Yukon’s recycling goes once it leaves the territory, we encourage you to contact the processors directly.

All designated materials from across Yukon are safely collected and stored at depots and solid waste facilities. The territorial government then pays for transportation to a registered facility in western Canada or the United States. This contract is awarded through a public tendering process to ensure it is fair and that the contractor works within established social and environmental laws.

When will these changes happen?

No new surcharges, refunds or tipping fees will be implemented until August 11, 2016 for the Beverage Container Regulation and October 11, 2016 for the Designated Material Regulation to ensure retailers and consumers have enough time to become aware and prepare.

Why are we doing this? What is the benefit?

The Government of Yukon understands the importance of supporting increased waste diversion. This can be accomplished in different ways, but does come with significant costs.

Depot operators are prohibited from charging tipping fees for any designated materials. As such, it discourages illegal dumping that poses a risk to the environment and makes it easy to discard items safely. Since you have already paid a recycling fee for designated materials, you no longer have to pay tipping fees when dropping items off at depots.

Point-of-sale surcharges are becoming the norm throughout Canada.  These changes will bring Yukon up to date by implementing environmental surcharges that are comparable with those charged in other Canadian provinces and territories.

What happens with the surcharges? How do they benefit recycling in Yukon?

All surcharges collected are deposited into Yukon’s Recycling Fund and are used to pay for the responsible management and recycling of these materials. These changes to recycling regulations will help work towards making recycling in Yukon more sustainable. The Recycling Fund supports operations and initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in Yukon. This includes supporting depot operators through handling and processing fees, educational and awareness programs like the Yukon Recycling Club, and transportation of recycled materials from all across Yukon.

I have more questions ... who can I talk to?

If you have any more questions about these new changes or how they affect you, make sure you continue to visit this site, as it will be updated with new information as it becomes available. You can also email us at YGrecycles@gov.yk.ca