At last, more than a month’s recycling liberated from YK homes

Amy Stuart had a load of recycling ready to go to the city’s blue recycling bins in early February. Then, the municipal strike and lockout hit.

That meant the six sets of blue recycling bins normally available across the city for residents to drop off cardboard, glass, tin cans and other materials were removed.

Like many Yellowknifers, Stuart decided to wait it out, expecting the strike and lockout to last a couple of weeks. She continued adding to the pile outside her home.


But the strike and lockout ended up lasting more than five weeks. During that time, she said, “the pile grew and grew and grew.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Stuart said: “I hope it won’t take them too-too long to get the recycling bins back in place.”

She doesn’t have space in her house for the cardboard she has been storing, so she keeps it outside.

“It looks kind-of trashy,” Stuart said. “And with the snow melting, I don’t want it to get soggy either.”

Although blue-bin recycling stations didn’t immediately reappear when the strike and lockout ended last week, the wait is coming to an end.


“Blue bin recycling stations are being re-established starting today and throughout the coming week, as staffing allows,” the city said in a press release on Friday.

To get a sense of what living with more than a month of recycling looks like, Cabin Radio photographed residents’ heaps of cardboard, tin and plastic, and asked readers to send in their own photos. (Some contributors asked to remain anonymous for fear of having to look friends, family and neighbours in the eye after publication.)

Danielle Wendehorst organized her recycling in her shed. Photo: Danielle Wendehorst
A heap of recycling in a Yellowknife home. Jasper, a massive pyjama-clad rottweiler-hound mix, appears for scale. Chloe Williams/Cabin Radio
The “cluttered entry hallway of a Yellowknifer committed to recycling cardboard,” according to Ben Linaker. Photo: Ben Linaker
Recyclables stacked into every nook…
… and cranny.
“I can still see out of my rear-view mirror. That’s all that matters, right?” Photo: Shannon Moore

Soon enough, residents will be able to get rid of the mess and reclaim the waste-filled corners of their homes.

Whether the recyclables so many of us have been resistant to throw away actually steer clear of the landfill, however, is a whole other question.


(We did have some recycling-related questions for the City of Yellowknife, but a spokesperson said nobody would be available to get back to us this week.)