Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit June 19, 2017 - 1:10 pm

Nunavut capital neat and tidy after spring cleaning

“It’s a really nice way to highlight the beauty of our city, we can’t thank the community enough"

BETH BROWN
Grade 11 student Sinisiaq Ikkidluak, right, gathers trash with Inuksuk High School teachers Diana Trull, left, and Lauren Teiman. (PHOTOS BY BETH BROWN)
Grade 11 student Sinisiaq Ikkidluak, right, gathers trash with Inuksuk High School teachers Diana Trull, left, and Lauren Teiman. (PHOTOS BY BETH BROWN)
Three-year-old twins Florence, left, and Flavie Parker pick out a place to clean in the plateau with Karine Baron and a clean-up volunteer.
Three-year-old twins Florence, left, and Flavie Parker pick out a place to clean in the plateau with Karine Baron and a clean-up volunteer.
Tommy Kelly rolls up his sleeves to tidy up around some boats near the Iqaluit shoreline, with help from Sarah Mike.
Tommy Kelly rolls up his sleeves to tidy up around some boats near the Iqaluit shoreline, with help from Sarah Mike.
Vincent Hebert, left, and Max Shoo are off to the dump with a load of litter, after an Iqaluit community clean up June 16.
Vincent Hebert, left, and Max Shoo are off to the dump with a load of litter, after an Iqaluit community clean up June 16.

When the first 2,000 trash bags ran out at this year’s Iqaluit city cleanup, organizers had to go into their reserve stash.

And, looking down the newly-neat beach area, it’s easy to see that the annual morning clean sweep, held June 16, drew a lot of dedicated local citizens.

Volunteers from schools, businesses and government offices met at the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre at 9 a.m. this year to grab gloves and mark off where they would chase down trash on a city map.

Areas that needed the most attention, such as riverbeds and downtown areas, were highlighted in yellow by organizers from the Government of Nunavut’s environment department.

“I think it’s a good thing to do. I think we should do it more, or throw garbage less,” said Sinisiaq Ikkidluak, a Grade 11 student from Inuksuk High School. Her group spent more than half-an-hour picking up cigarette butts from in front of the Frobisher Inn, on top of time spent pulling trash out of the creek. 

Downstream, Julie McManaman said she picked up a couch cushion, some bike wheels, a tire and lots of chip bags and pop cans.

“It was a mess in that water,” she said. “I walk by it every day and I used to hate looking at it. But today you can walk by and it looks so nice, just the river flowing and nothing else.”

Tommy Kelly, who helps out every year, said he has seen more garbage around town since the city population has increased.

“It used to be a lot cleaner than this,” he said. “It’s awful, it’s a lot of garbage.”

While a lot of the garbage showed up after the snow melted, Jean Arnaqjuaq, who found paper cups and old nails while cleaning up around the 200s area, said she found garbage that looked like it was left from other years.

And, city workers Vincent Hebert and Max Shoo said they hauled four or five half-tonne truckloads of gathered garbage off to the dump.

The tidy town comes just in time for Canada 150 celebrations, and for a visit from royal family members Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.

“Iqaluit residents are so generous with their time and effort. You can tell just by walking around, the city looks great,” said city spokesperson Andrea Spitzer. “It’s a really nice way to highlight the beauty of our city, we can’t thank the community enough.”

The community clean up closed with a BBQ and prizes. Lucky cleaners took home pool passes, a bicycle, gift certificates for country food and even a set of airplane tickets.

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