Managing solid waste

The Environment Act’s Solid Waste Regulations set standards for building and operating dumps and landfill operations in the territory. These regulations are needed because the average Yukoner generates almost 2kg of garbage every day. That's nearly three-quarters of a tonne per year.

Solid waste regulations

Permits are required for designing, operating, maintaining, and closing dumps and landfills on most land in Yukon. Permits are required for owners of:

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Solid waste in Yukon

Solid waste is the everyday garbage that goes to the local dump. It can come from homes, businesses, institutions, or industrial sites, and includes waste from both the demolition and construction of buildings. It does not include special (hazardous) waste, brush, untreated wood products or sewage.

Most solid waste is deposited in waste disposal sites located near all Yukon communities. The Department of Community Services manages 19 of these 26 sites, while incorporated municipalities manage the rest.

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Solid waste management plans

Waste Disposal Facilities are required to develop a 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan describing in detail their design, construction, operation, upgrading, closure and post-closure plans. Commercial Dumps are not required to submit a Solid Waste Management Plan.

In addition to the Solid Waste Management Plan, more specific plans may be required by the permit from time to time, such as before constructing a new cell.

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The Solid Waste Regulations do not prohibit the burning of solid waste, but open burning is not recommended due to health issues caused by inhalation of toxic pollutants and particulate matter, as well as atmospheric pollution caused by burning. This method should be considered only as a last resort to dispose of garbage. A Solid Waste Permit is required to burn garbage created by a commercial activity, and anyone burning more than 5 kilograms of solid waste per day must obtain an Air Emissions Permit as well.

Open burning is no longer an acceptable disposal method of municipal solid waste, and Yukon public solid waste facilities transitioned away from this method after January 1, 2012. Commercial dumps are still permitted to open burn garbage at this point.

Solid waste may be incinerated in a certified incinerator, which reduces the amount of pollution produced. Other methods of waste disposal currently practiced in Yukon include compaction and burial, composting, and gasification.

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It is illegal to throw trash from your motor vehicle or allow it to be blown out of the back of your truck. If you lend your vehicle to a friend, you are responsible if garbage is disposed of from your vehicle. You may be found guilty of an offence unless you can prove that an unauthorized person was driving your vehicle.

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Important note: The permitting system under the Environment Act was updated in 2014. For more information review the Permitting System web page.


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Permit application forms

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Additional resources

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Contact Environmental Programs
Phone: 867-667-5683
Toll-free (in Yukon, NWT & Nunavut):
1-800-661-0408 ext. 5683
Fax: 867-393-6213
Email: envprot@gov.yk.ca
Address: Box 2703 (V-8) Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada Y1A 2C6