Click here to access the full Northlands Dënesųłiné First Nation Waste & Recycling Initiative DRAFT Report & Plan.
Recycling and waste management to date
The Northlands Dënesųłiné First Nation (NDFN) has a little over 1,100 members. Its main community is situated on reserve land on the north shore of Lac Brochet and has approximately 1,000 residents.
Most of the waste generated by this community is transported to a waste collection area on provincial Crown Land approximately 2 km north of reserve land. Before the start of this project, there was not a systematic or comprehensive approach to recycling in the community. There is no consistent system for how people make their trash available for collection and there are no standardized residential collection containers.
Derelict Heavy Equipment Area
Approximately 30 derelict heavy vehicles are located on reserve area in a field just south of the community adjacent to the Band’s Public Works Garage. With the recent increase in capital and infrastructure projects in the community, some effort has been made to clean up this area.
Current Waste Collection Area
Some improvements were made to this area during the current project, but more remains to be done.
The primary problems with the Current Waste Collection Area prior to the start of this project included:
- Unrestricted public access
- No set hours
- No fencing
- No gate
- No signage informing residents of appropriate dumping areas
- No separation of recyclables from the general waste stream
- Neither organic nor inorganic recyclables are separated
- Frequent, uncontrolled burning of household waste
- No Burn Cage
- Burning not conducted by trained personnel
- Ongoing risk of forest fires
- Deposited waste is not covered
- Winds blow lighter pieces of waste into surrounding areas
- Waste is spread out over wide area
- Waste is often mixed with sand and gravel, resulting in low density of garbage
- Waste has blown into a former quarry near the Active Dumping Area
Although there a number of waste and recycling challenges in Northlands Dënesųłiné, there are strong reasons for optimism.
- Proper management of waste—and a robust recycling program—are priorities in the Sustainable Development Strategy.
- There are no derelict vehicles around the homes or along the side of roads in Northlands.
- In an average year, roads and paths within the community have only a small amount of litter.
This project was initiated in Summer 2017 by NDFN Chief and Council in discussions with members of the Boke Consulting team, as a means of implementing the priorities and strategies for waste in the Sustainable Development Strategy.
An application was made in 2017 and funding was committed by Indigenous Services Canada.
Work on the ground began with recruiting a Cleanup Crew. Community members were invited to sign up to join a Cleanup Crew. Any community member currently on Income Assistance was eligible to join the Crew.
All were trained on the basics of safe work and separating recyclables. The Cleanup Crew began by working their way systematically through the community, cleaning up litter and other small waste items.
AREA OF FOCUS
Reducing and reusing
develop school curriculum
work with Northern Store to reduce packaging
open swap “store”
review & improve
Staffing and governance
choose staff; begin operations;
continue operations & training;
supplement staff with WOP participants & summer students;
develop mandate & governance
Managing external agreements
prepare & ship materials;
review agreements annually
Creating recycling & waste boxes and stations
set up Recycling Depot & Transfer Station
build & distribute household boxes
repair & replace community & household boxes, as needed
Bringing WMF into compliance
build fence & sub-cell separators
review operations with governments
Implementing comprehensive collection & waste management system
choose, purchase and ship equipment & supplies
begin in-vessel composting;
begin using recycling shuttle
repair or take apart derelict buildings
review waste & recycling collection & management
Cleaning up waste backlog
set up vehicle decommissioning
vehicle, equipment and appliance decommissioning, staging and shipping
Monitoring current and legacy waste sites
choose monitoring company
take & send samples for analysis annually