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.
  • Commented on the draft 2021-2027 Nunavik Residual Material Management Plan.
  • Brief transmitted to the Committee on Transport and the Environment regarding Bill 65, An Act to amend Mainly the Environment Quality Act with respect to Deposits and Selective Collection.
  • Document entitled Portrait of Waste Management in Nunavik transmitted to the provincial and federal administrators of Section 23 of the JBNQA.
  • 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.
  • Although progress has been made in recent years regarding waste reduction, recycling and the management of residual materials in Nunavik, the northern villages still do not have access to the same level of resources as other Québec municipalities and Indigenous communities elsewhere in Canada. The KEAC therefore continues to support funding from the provincial and federal governments for strategic regional projects.
  • 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 the closed Asbestos Hill mine site.

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.