Waste management

Waste management faces unique obstacles in Nunavik but also has the potential for unique solutions. Project implementation involves many stakeholders: the governments of Québec and Canada, as well regional and local organizations and businesses (retail stores, transport companies, construction companies, etc.). Innovative waste management measures are not only positive for the environment; they can also generate benefits for social and economic sectors. They also lead to better understanding of concepts such as reduction at source, reuse, recycling and reclamation.

Recent actions

  • Co-chaired, with the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), public consultations in Nunavik regarding the current status and management of final waste in June 2021.The KEAC continues the application of the nine recommendations set out in the BAPE’s 2022 report. A Green Corner article regarding the consultations and report’s finding was published in the 130th issue of Tarralik.
  • Examined the federal engagement on prohibiting single-use plastics as well as the federal amendments to the Storage of Petroleum products and allied petroleum products regulations
  • Commented on and monitoring application of Regulation respecting the development, implementa­tion and financial support of a deposit-refund system for certain containers and the Regulation respecting a system of selective collection of certain residual materials. The objective in modernizing the deposit and selective collection systems, based on an EPR approach, is to allow for better recovery and recycling of containers, packaging, and printed materials
  • Commented on draft 2022-2027 Action Plan for the Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Remediation Program and draft Regulation respecting Charges to Promote the Treatment and Reclamation of Excavated Contaminated Soils and continuing to monitor development of an intervention plan for Aboriginal, northern and isolated communities.
  • Participation on the Nunavik Residual Materials Management Working Group which has a mandate to facilitate communication between various waste management stakeholders in the region and government officials. The Working Group also identifies core issues, challenges and solutions to promote safe waste management practices from a public health and environmental protection standpoint
  • Monitoring of recycling programs and related infrastructure under the Regulation respecting the Recovery and Reclamation of Products by Enterprises which aims to reduce the quantities of residual materials being sent to landfills and to make retailers and producers responsible for the recovery and reclamation of the products they sell.
  • Monitoring of several files regarding the restoration of contaminated sites in Nunavik including abandoned mineral exploration sites and outfitting camps, contaminated sites located on federal lands, former Mid-Canada Line radar sites,and abandoned outfitting camps for which it published a Green Corner article in issue 128 of Tarralik

You can access relevant publications regarding this subject at: https://keac-ccek.org/en/briefs-and-position-papers/

Community-based initiatives

The KEAC supports regional and local initiatives that promote awareness of environmental issues and improved waste management.

Aluminium beverage container recycling
In 2008 and again in 2018, the KEAC distributed a poster throughout Nunavik to encourage the recycling of aluminium beverage cans. Additionally, the KEAC continues to correspond with RECYC-QUÉBEC and Nunavik retailers concerning the implementation of the new deposit system for beverage containers (2 L and smaller).

Guides for the management of hazardous waste in Nunavik
In 2016, the KEAC reissued three guides for municipalities, organizations, businesses and the general public in Nunavik with information on the management of hazardous waste. Guide 3 was updated in November 2021.

Single-use plastic bags
In 2008, the KEAC provided technical assistance to the Northern Village of Kuujjuaq which adopted a by-law banning single-use plastic shopping bags. Additionally, reusable grocery bags with the KEAC logo were distributed in each Nunavik community to encourage the adoption of similar bylaws by other northern villages.

Hazardous waste
Between 2005 and 2009, the KEAC assisted the Kativik Regional Government with the development of a training program regarding the handling, storage and shipment of hazardous waste. In 2007, the KEAC funded the design of hazardous waste signage for the northern landfills in every community.

Used tires
Between 2006 and 2009, the KEAC with assistance from RECYC-QUÉBEC established a recycling project for used tires in Nunavik by encouraging municipalities to take advantage of the Québec Integrated Used Tire Management Program.