If You Build it, They Will Recycle

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Reducing, reusing and recycling in the north can be tricky. Not all communities have the same access to programs, and even in bigger centres like Yellowknife, the unique challenges of living north of 60 makes keeping things out of the landfill less than simple.

But if you want to solve a northern problem, ask a northerner. Or better yet: fund one!

Since 2013, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through its Waste Reduction and Recycling Initiative (WRRI), has invested in communities to help reduce and recycle materials not yet included in NWT-wide recycling programs.

The program is flexible, and designed to let applicants prioritize what’s most important in their community. This year’s funding is now open for applications!

These don’t have to be elaborate — every project helps. In N’Dilo, a set of four bins under a shelter has increased recycling.

In 2015, with $6,350 from WRRI, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation built a recycling centre in N’Dilo to collect recyclables for diversion from the landfill.

Installing the bins under their blue, protective awning might not seem like a huge change, but it allowed the community to divert cardboard, mixed paper, newspaper, glass and other materials from the landfill, as well as household hazardous waste.

By centring it in their community, participation was made simple. People could access it regardless of whether they had storage or a chance to move recyclables to Yellowknife.

Helping create a sustainable future doesn’t have to be difficult — it can be as simple as setting up some bins.

Have an idea on how to reduce and recycle in your community? The deadline for applications for this year’s funding is April 22, 2021. For more information or to apply,  click here.