Sayisi Dene Waste & Recycling

Click here to access the full Sayisi Dene First Nation Waste & Recycling Initiative Report & Plan.

Recycling & Waste Management to Date

Waste Collection

Although Public Works staff collects trash, there are no standardized collection containers. There is also no consistent system for how people make their trash available for collection. Sometimes, the Public Works staff goes into buildings to collect bags of garbage. Some people put household garbage into institutional collection bins. People sometimes take trash to the landfill themselves. As well, some people use burn barrels in their yard (although this is becoming less common).

Community View Over The Frogpond

Current Waste Management Facilities

The site was established approximately 3 km northeast of the community. There are some improvements to the current Waste Management Facility (WMF) compared to the previous site:

  • Berms surround two cells
  • A rudimentary fencing system restricts some loose garbage from blowing 
away in the wind
  • Bulky metals are (mostly) excluded

However, many of the problems of the previous site are being repeated in the current WMF:

  • Unrestricted public access
  • No set hours
  • The gate is always left open
  • No signage informing residents of appropriate dumping areas
  • No separation of recyclables from the general waste stream
  • Frequent, uncontrolled burning of household and Northern Store waste
  • Deposited waste is not covered
  • Fencing not adequate to exclude wildlife
Along The Fence Inside The Dump

Derelict Equipment Area

Around and behind the Public Works Garage which was done with the help of TechReview, hundreds of pieces of derelict equipment (and thousands of parts and small equipment) are scattered around an area at least double the size of the current Waste Management Facility.

Cleaning up this area is possible. However, this will take a number of years, and require sustained coordination between waste and recycling staff, works and operations staff, band administration leadership, and Chief and Council.

The Current Project

This project was initiated in late 2017 SDFN Chief and Council in discussions with members of the Boke Consulting team. A Council Consensus Form was signed with Councillor Robert Powderhorn designated by the motion to take the lead on this project within Council.

Work on the ground began with recruiting 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 Crew

The Plan






Engaging the community

Review & Discuss Plan

Review & Improve

Plan annually

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;

begin training

continue operations & training;
supplement staff with WOP participants & summer students;
develop mandate & governance

Managing external agreements

secure 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

Burn Cage;

build fence & sub-cell separators

sub-cell capping

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

Engaging The Community

The success of this program will largely depend upon how much support it receives from the community. It needs to be clear to all Band staff—and to the wider community—that the way waste has been dealt with in the past cannot continue, and sustainable waste management and recycling is a priority.

Creating Local Jobs

Implementing this Plan will increase local employment. (For details, see Staffing and Governance, below.)


The staff and leadership of the waste and recycling initiative must work systematically to build awareness of what is happening, and explicitly show how activities embody the values of the community, and contribute to the community’s quality life. Some elements of the Plan that will help build awareness are:

  • A Recycling Depot in the centre of the community, with cleanup and recycling initiatives run out of the Depot
  • Recycling bins in public places
  • Visible examples of recycling and reuse of waste materials
  • Events and activities advertised through posters in the communityand Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on social media

Getting people actively involved will help to build a sense of ownership and connection to the Plan. A primary way to get people involved will be through community events like Spring Cleanups and Recycling Drives to collect specific recyclables and derelict appliances.

Community Involvement in Decision Making

The Plan needs to be reviewed annually by the community, with suggestions for improvement asked for, and acted on.

Waste & Recycling Staff need to take the lead on this activity, with support from Band staff, and Chief and Council.

One of the first community decisions that needs to be made is a decision whether or not to have the Northern Store charge a 5¢ or 10¢ deposit on drink cans and bottles. This money would be given to the Waste & Recycling initiative, and then given back to anyone bringing in a drink can or bottle to the Recycling Depot or Transfer Station

Affordable Remediation & Emergency Services
Phone: (732) 769-8101
5 Kimberly Ct
Manalapan Township, NJ 07726
Mentoring And Community Involvement