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Divers retrieve over 10,000 pounds of garbage from Yellowknife lakes in one summer

A Yellowknife man has completed his mission to get ten thousand pounds of garbage out of lakes in and around Yellowknife.

Scuba diver Jeremy MacDonald started cleaning up the lakes this summer, and by mid-July had already pulled out 4,000 pounds of garbage.

“Last year it was mainly four of us who were just out collecting a few bags worth of garbage during a couple of dives,” but they had hopes to get a bit bigger, he says.

“We hoped to engage more divers in the community and get some volunteers to help out with shore. That worked out really well, that enabled us to get well past the ten thousand pounds objective.”

What started out as a few friends collecting garbage on their dives grew into a community of 40 different volunteers. Over the course of 12 different clean-up dives, they pulled 10,754 pounds of garbage out of Yellowknife’s lakes.

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He says he was surprised by how quickly the ten thousand pound goal was met, as well as the support from the community.

“It was absolutely a surprise and I’m thrilled with the support that we actually got to get there,” MacDonald says.

Some of the junk they retrieved were recyclable bottles and cans, which were donated to local community organizations, he says.

“Tires were kind of the big thing that we found,” he says.


“And the landfill was gracious enough to let us come and put those in the proper spot. So the vast majority of what we found wasn’t salvageable or useful so it ended up in the landfill.”

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Macdonald says the regular cleanup dives will resume next summer, once the water is warm enough.

“The more we dive around the area, the more we realize how much there is to pick up, ” he says.

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