Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit June 15, 2017 - 10:00 am

Clean sweep—Nunavut capital’s trash bash in time for Canada 150

Iqaluit community clean up set for June 16, plane tickets as prizes

BETH BROWN
Litter is a common sight in Iqaluit streets. A community cleanup, set for June 16, will help beautify the city. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
Litter is a common sight in Iqaluit streets. A community cleanup, set for June 16, will help beautify the city. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
David Oberg of the Government of Nunavut's environment department tells Iqaluit councillors June 13 that keeping the city clean is an everyday effort. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
David Oberg of the Government of Nunavut's environment department tells Iqaluit councillors June 13 that keeping the city clean is an everyday effort. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)

Role up your sleeves, it’s Friday tidy time in Iqaluit.

This year’s city-wide cleanup runs from 9 a.m. until noon, June 16, with a wrap-up public barbecue at the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre.

And, in case a clean city isn’t enough incentive to lend a helping hand, participants will receive free T-shirts and see their names entered for a chance to win a set of Canadian North/Calm Air airplane tickets.

Cleaner-uppers can head to the Unikkaarvik parking lot to pick up bags and gloves between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Keeners can also pick up supplies ahead of time at the visitors centre on June 15.

To make sure volunteers sweep the whole city, a master map will mark out who is cleaning where, and to see what areas are left for tracking down trash. 

Organizers also have a short list of elders’ houses that can be visited for a cleanup. 

The cleanup comes just in time for Canada Day celebrations, and a royal visit.

And organizers have marked out focus areas for tidying that will be used for both events, said David Oberg of the Government of Nunavut’s environment department, during a June 13 briefing at a city council meeting

City councillors also weighed in June 13 on places they thought needed attention.

Coun. Joanasie Akumalik flagged the beach areas around the Grind and Brew café and where sealift is dropped off, while Coun. Simon Nattaq suggested a culvert at the end of the airstrip that attracts debris. 

“It will be beneficial and refreshing for everyone in the community,” said Coun. Noah Papatsie, who suggested inmates and young offenders ought to be invited to take part in the cleanup because “it’s part of healing and rehabilitation because they get a chance to help the community.”

Oberg didn’t say whether his department had made an effort to include inmates, but he said was open to the idea, adding that the beach areas and airstrip would be added to the list of priority locations for cleanups.

In addition to bags and gloves, the city’s economic development department will supply rakes and wheelbarrows for the annual cleaning blitz, which has been on the go for about 10 years.

The noon-time barbecue will take place in the visitors centre parking lot. A draw for door prizes will follow.

To cut down on waste, organizers have asked everyone to bring their own cups to the BBQ.

While hot dogs and prizes are only offered once a year, tidying up around town doesn’t have to be a one-time thing.

“We promote continual community clean up,” said Oberg. “We always have supplies available to anyone who contacts us.”

In other garbage news, the annual large item garbage pick up is scheduled for June 19 to June 23.

Community cleanups are taking place in many Nunavut hamlets. The department is asking residents to contact their hamlet offices for dates and details. 

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(12) Comments:

#1. Posted by cool hand luke on June 15, 2017

It will be beneficial and refreshing for everyone in the community,” said Coun. Noah Papatsie, who suggested inmates and young offenders ought to be invited to take part in the cleanup because “it’s part of healing and rehabilitation because they get a chance to help the community.

Prison labour and chain gangs, welcome to Iqaluit should be the new city slogan

#2. Posted by Clean up on June 15, 2017

Community clean up is important and makes is feel good, but hiding it away in an awful landfill is a bandaid solution. Being proactive is the only path towards success: don’t use plastic garbage bags, donate your pop and beer cans to the high school, seperate your cardboard, etc.

My favourite: Overheard a guy last year say “I don’t do community clean up because I don’t litter” and then proceeded to finish his cigarette and threw it on the ground.

#3. Posted by always amazed on June 15, 2017

I have seen this annual performance for over 25 years and it still never ceases to amaze me. offer a bribe to pick-up garbage. Whatever happened to clean up your own mess and dispose of it properly. Some people feel someone will take care of my every need, including picking up after me. Children are smarter than this - if they are taught.

#4. Posted by NS Girl on June 15, 2017

I agree with the city-wide clean up - it’s a great community effort.  However, I do believe that it would be more beneficial to the entire community to have it on a weekend.  There would be more people available and more area covered.  The involvement of parents and children not only provide more hands, but the opportunity to teach the importance of garbage going where it belongs.  The environment, current and future generations will benefit from these teachings.  Just one person - one opinion!

#5. Posted by helen-kaiyoina@hotmail.com on June 15, 2017

If you love your community, keep it trash free, show people that is it better to live in a clean community, sickness or virus’s wont spread…..  I love my community and I clean my yard as soon as the snow melts and I help the neighbors with thier clean up…it is so nice to have a clean yard and see a clean community that you grow up in.

#6. Posted by Zero pride on June 15, 2017

Here in Nunavut too may people take zero pride in the land, even though they always go on like they are stewards and guardians and whatever other non-sense we are supposed to believe. It’s really disgusting to see how much garbage people throw around when all the snow has melted. Sick.

#7. Posted by lots of ignorance on June 15, 2017

Happy 150 years #6, nice to see the love and generalization still going strong.

#8. Posted by Keep it clean Nunavut! on June 15, 2017

There needs to be some systemic changes to how Nunavummiut think about trash and garbage for there to be meaningful change. This includes educating youth and adults about the importance of proper trash and recycling techniques as well as an investment in garbage and recycling infrastructure. You can’t have one without the other. These one-day-trash-pickup events are nice in that they bring the community together and raise awareness about garbage and littering, but more needs to be done to prevent littering in the first place.

#9. Posted by Zero pride on June 15, 2017

#7 Assuming you live in Nunavut I invite you to get out of your house tonight and go for a walk around your community. Take a look on the ground then report back to us tomorrow with what you saw. Then we will discuss the issue of ignorance.

#10. Posted by BWR on June 15, 2017

9 - 12 pm! That’s a joke., please! Someone, everyone, start caring. Clean up after ur self, teach ur children…. put your money where your mouth is

#11. Posted by Lots of ignorance on June 17, 2017

Took my evening walk, beautiful place, especially after the clean up from the winter.
More so out on the land, sea ice, even more beautiful, awesome people too.
Reporting back to you even though I don’t need to, the people are still great, just a hand full of miserable people who were taught to be ignorant at a young age.

Anyway happy 150th!

#12. Posted by Mialee on June 17, 2017

David Oberg, If, I were you, maybe you do already. Have you ever gone out on the beach or areas that are really bad and make sure the town you are responsible for is clean and tidy?. If, I were to work for you, I would do that, report and make sure, you do the job right. Maybe, you can hire some homeless to do the job. Come on counselors, you can do little bit more and please make sure it is not just for Prince and Camilla.

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