Garbage sheds, better bins part of Iqaluit litter solution

The City of Iqaluit is promising a new garbage policy to take charge of the litter that blows all over the city’s streets. Meanwhile, Northern Properties is looking for alternatives to garbage bins that blow open in the wind.
The City of Iqaluit is promising a new garbage policy to take charge of the litter that blows all over the city’s streets. Meanwhile, Northern Properties is looking for alternatives to garbage bins that blow open in the wind.

That giant storm that brought winds up to 150 km/h to Iqaluit also brought another problem: garbage, spread all over the town.

Many garbage bins were tossed around and damaged.

“After that wind storm there's diapers… there's just general garbage all around,” says resident Marc Macmullin.

But Macmullin says it doesn’t take record wind gusts to get the garbage out of the bin he uses.

“The top keeps blowing open and then the ravens get in and open everything up.”

He thinks the bins could be better designed to prevent that.

The City of Iqaluit plans to have a new policy for garbage by this fall.

“We want to make the city look pretty for the people who come here,” says Keith Couture, the city’s director of public works.

Part of the fix involves repairing garbage bins that aren’t up to the job.

“Most of them are very old and dilapidated,” Couture says. “Consequently the lids don't stay on and the ravens are having a field day.”

The city plans to repair the bins that can be salvaged, and come up with other ways to reduce all the litter in the capital.

“We're becoming a number one tourist attraction,” Couture says. “Everybody hears about the Arctic and when they come here and they don't want to see trash on the ground.”

Northern Property is responsible for about 500 garbage bins around the city.

“The wind often lifts the bins open,” says Cozell Dyre Freeman, who works for the company.

He says the company is working on strategies to keep garbage where it belongs.

“Sheds are definitely one of the better options, just because you can place boulders inside the sheds to weigh it down,” he says. “The sheds have an access door where you can close them so that will prevent the ravens from getting into them.”

All this is music to Macmullin’s ears.

“It's a good idea. It should have been a while ago. It needs to be done.”

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