Friday, January 29, 2021

Sustainable Waste Management For A Better Environment

With the rate of growth we are experiencing, our waste sites are experiencing growing pressure and the need to find an environmentally responsible way forward. Waste, and how we deal with it, can impact the quality of our land, air and water, as well as the health of wildlife, plants, ecosystems and people living in Cambridge Bay. Shifting the way we see waste from something to be buried in the ground to a valuable resource or something that is burnt in an open burn to something that is incinerated at an extremely high heat can help protect our environment and enhance our economy.

Our Municipality is developing a strategy to be environmentally responsible in our future management of the site with a desire for reuse, recycling and the elimination of open burn. Four fundamental principles guide the strategy which we are developing. These principles came from your input into the community discussions of the “Seeds to the Future” Comprehensive Community Plan work done in 2019, before Covid-19 put a temporary halt to future meetings.

1. Protection of the Environment
• Good waste management means waste is not contaminating the air, land and water.
• Preventing waste, and reusing and recycling materials reduces environmental impacts.

2. Economic Development and Prevention of Financial Liability
• Incorporating approaches that prevent and reduce waste, extend product life and increase diversion can help foster a green economy.
• Improving waste management can minimize current and future waste management facility costs.
• Cost effectiveness will be considered in approaches to improving waste management.

3. Environmental Stewardship
• Improving waste management is a shared responsibility. We all have a role in being part of the solution.

Effective January 1st we began to enforce the collection of “tipping” fees for the dumping of garbage from contractors and residents depositing specific items or truckloads of waste materials in the dumpsite. ByLaw 300 was passed by Council last year so that the waste our community produced could be handled in a more effective and efficient environmentally sensitive method. ByLaw 300 Schedule B (available at Hamlet Office or on the Municipal website) notes the formulas for determining these charges. The Tipping Fees are necessary if we are to continue with this unprecedented growth. They will be applied towards an efficient and environmentally friendly operation, improved maintenance of the site and improve the quality of service to our community.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Marla Limousin
Chief Administrative Officer