Four professional recyclers sent to two Nunavut communities to clean up scrapped cars have finished a pilot project.

Caroline Sturk with Summerhill Impact, a non-profit environmental services group, said the crew worked in Arviat and Gjoa Haven.

"We've managed to remove two barrels of fuel, two barrels of waste oil, a barrel-and-a-half of anti-freeze, a gallon of windshield washer fluid, twenty mercury automotive switches, 55 lead weights and refrigerants from six vehicles," Sturk said.

As part of the Tundra Take-Back pilot project, volunteers taught residents how to properly de-pollute old cars. Then 65 of the cars were crushed with a front-end loader.

Recycling Cars Arviat

Recyclers show local residents how to remove fluid and other pollutants from abandoned cars. (Summerhill Impact)

They will be shipped to southern facilities and recycled into new steel. Sturk says otherwise old vehicles will rust and break down leaching harmful pollutants into the surrounding land and water.

Sturk says stripping, crushing and shipping northern vehicles south is costly. But she says Tundra Take-Back is already eyeing other scrap piles in other Nunavut communities.