A Fort Providence man is trying to make recycling easier and more accessible for residents in the hamlet.
Bradley Thom has taken on the job of operating the hamlet’s bottle depot and improving local waste management. His organization, Green Tree Recycling and Holdings, aims to reduce the number of recyclables being thrown into the garbage.
“We take in the refundable recyclables and all electronics, like batteries, laptops, TVs and other stuff,” Thom said. His bottle depot is able to provide refunds for some recyclables, like cans.
The centre receives a grant to open for roughly four hours a month. Thom, who recently won a pitch competition for EntrepreNorth for his work with the bottle depot, hopes to expand that and is running a GoFundMe online fundraiser for the project.
Originally, the funds raised were to pay for a new storage shed for recyclables. The current shed has asbestos, making it potentially hazardous.
Thom now says the project may instead use the money for other tasks related to the centre, like acquiring a new lot in the hamlet for recycling dumpsters.
The dumpsters would give residents a centralized location to drop off recycling instead of trying to bring it to another community with better recycling infrastructure. Growing up, Thom said, his family would bring its recycling to Yellowknife.
“There are people who want to recycle more,” he said. “Sometimes it piles up if you don’t travel that often and it takes up space.
“Being able to get those dumpsters there right away would be pretty cool.”
Thom’s eventual plans range from the ambitious – a mobile recycling service – to more simple goals, like bottle depot calendar fridge magnets so customers remember when the centre is open.