Yellowknifers endured garbage gridlock as dozens of vehicles lined up for entry into the city’s newly reopened dump on Monday afternoon.
The dump officially reopened at 1pm. It’ll stay open until 4pm and keep the same hours on weekdays from now on. It had originally closed on March 19 as the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Despite the City of Yellowknife moving to weekly garbage collection, some residents had more than a month of waste backed up – and were prepared to risk the Monday rush.
“I’m in line with half of Yellowknife wanting to get rid of recycling and doggy-do,” said resident Jeremy MacDonald.
Asked why he needed to make the trip on day one of reopening, he told Cabin Radio: “You’ve got to avoid the poop soup. There’s too much for the one bin.
“I thought I would be one of the first people out there. It looks like a lot of people have been doing their spring cleaning.”
Municipal enforcement officers were called to provide traffic control as two lanes of vehicles lined up for entry.
The City has said only 10 vehicles at a time will be permitted inside the dump to ensure physical distancing measures are obeyed.
“Every minute or so, a car or two goes in,” said MacDonald from his vantage point.
“I don’t think I can turn around now, I’m boxed in.
“I’m committed, this plan is going forward. I’m not taking it back home. This stuff is on a one-way trip.”
Still no salvaging
Only one area of the dump has so far reopened, although the City said it would take just about anything residents want to dispose of.
A facility for dog waste had reopened last month after residents complained of having nowhere to put bins and bins of excrement following their spring yard cleans.
However, there is still no access for people who want to indulge in some salvaging at the “Ykea” drop-off zone.
Councillor Steve Payne and his wife have since created a Facebook page, Salvagers Unite, designed to replicate the act of salvaging by letting residents pass goods to each other for free.
“There’s some great stuff going into Ykea,” said MacDonald as he watched lawn chairs, couches, and other furniture items head through the gates. “Hopefully they open that up, too.”