Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut March 18, 2014 - 8:23 am

Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA wants action on Nunavut recycling

“Our land, our water, and our air need and deserve our protection and care"

DAVID MURPHY
Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak says she wants to see more recycling in Nunavut. (FILE PHOTO)
Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak says she wants to see more recycling in Nunavut. (FILE PHOTO)

Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak wants the Government of Nunavut to take a second look at a recycling plan for all Nunavut communities.

In the legislative assembly March 14, Angnakak said that during her election campaign, people continually asked about a waste management plan.

“It is obvious that we face many challenges in the areas of managing, treating and disposing of waste,” Angnakak said.

“My constituents have told me that they want to see support for such initiatives as recycling and support for such technologies as incineration.”

The City of Iqaluit recently adopted a solid waste plan, which includes plans for a new incinerator within the next two years.

And there had been a Government of Nunavut recycling pilot project for beverage containers in place in 2010, Angnakak said.

But recycling is problematic.

The GN has said the infrastructure costs for a recycling program are very high, Angnakak said.

“Our land, our water, and our air need and deserve our protection and care,” Angnakak said.

Angnakak asked the minister of Community and Government Services, Tom Sammurtok, if a recycling plan for all Nunavut communities is in the works.

Sammurtok said the GN has issued a request for proposal right now to look at the “feasibility of reintroducing the recycling program.”

Angnakak then read from a CGS-issued document — a request for information for potential planning for solid waste management methods.

That document explains why recycling programs don’t work in Nunavut.

Angnakak, quoting the document, said communities don’t have the capacity to implement a recycling program  for recycling bottles, cans, paper, metals and hazardous waste treatment.

Communities also don’t get funding from the GN to recycle these materials, Angnakak said.

But transporting recyclable materials to Iqaluit could be possible, she said. Angnakak asked if Iqaluit could act as a regional processing centre for such materials.

Sammurtok didn’t have an answer for Angnakak — but said he could provide more information when the RFP closes.

Angnakak again asked the minister if his department will give extra money to the City of Iqaluit because of its new waste management plan.

Sammurtok said again he would only have that information once the RFP closes.

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