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Dump not residents responsible for litter, city confirms

Garbage on the side of the road leading to a quarry in Yellowknife. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio


The City of Yellowknife has confirmed that litter lining a road to a quarry is not from illegal dumping but windblown trash from the solid waste facility.

Earlier this week, Cabin Radio reported that residents were concerned by the vast amount of garbage clinging to the trees and scattered on the ground along the road to the quarry beside the city’s dump.

When initially questioned about the issue, the municipality said it was “aware of the possibility of illegal dumping” across Yellowknife, saying it is especially an issue in the springtime. In a followup email, however, the city confirmed to Cabin Radio that the litter in this particular area is from the dump, not residents. 



“Windblown litter is an issue for these facilities across Canada and around the world, and the city has been taking steps to combat the issue and prevent it from happening in the future,” a spokesperson wrote, adding that waste management is an especially “complex issue” in the North, where suitable cover materials are challenging to find. 

The city said mitigation measures it has taken to prevent trash from blowing outside the dump include the installation of a fence at the perimeter of the landfill in 2011. 

Bags full of garbage collected outside the Yellowknife dump line the roadway to the nearby quarry. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

In May, the city also began applying cover over the landfill using clean fill and shredded tires. It said an intermediate cover will soon be completed, followed by daily cover.

As for the windblown garbage that has already collected on the road to the quarry, the city said it has hired the services of Common Ground to help with the cleanup. 

Signs of the cleanup were apparent on Thursday afternoon as several bags full of collected trash lined one side of the road. The city said it expects the area to be clear of trash by June.