The City of Yellowknife has taken part in Earth Week events in its own way.
A city council meeting was held at noon on Thursday, April 28th. The meeting was open for all to attend, and discussed various ways that Yellowknife residents can continue to support the ecological efforts of the city. The official topic of the meeting was Waste Diversion.
The meeting encouraged residents to make sure that they are disposing of waste properly, as it will help to divert waste so that it doesn’t all end up in one landfill, but instead sent to locations where it can be properly processed. A solid waste facility exists along Highway 4. this facility allows for people to dispose of items such as leaf and yard waste, mattresses, scarp metal, tires, honey buckets, as well as pet waste.
The green bins found at many residencies across the city are intended for organic materials only. These include food waste, small amounts of yard waste, paper towels, paper cartons, pizza boxes, and BPI certified compostable bags.
The city also has several blue bin depots. These locations are intended for recyclable materials such as plastics, tin cans, glass, mixed paper, and newspaper. Cardboard can also be accepted at the blue bins, as long as it is corrugated, which has “wavy lines” between the outer layers.
The reason that diverting waste is important is because it can expand the lifespan of the landfill, which can then be used for the processing of materials that need to be sent there. This can in turn prevent the leaking of hazardous materials from items like metals, organics, and electronics.
The council meeting was also used to unveil the Waste Resource Management Strategy and Implementation Plan. This strategy aims to foster a shift away from a culture of waste, and was developed because the NWT trails behind many other Canadian provinces in preventing waste from reaching landfills. The strategy aims to address the illegal disposing of waste on public lands, as well as the stockpiles of hazardous waste at several municipal landfills.
One of the visions of the future from this plan is to create a so-called “Circular Economy.” A Linear Economy is one where goods are used, and then immediately disposed of. A Recycling Economy is one where goods are used for as many times as they are able, but still end up getting disposed of. A Circular Economy is one where goods are never disposed of, and are always reused.