NEWS: Iqaluit June 15, 2017 - 10:00 am

Clean sweep—Nunavut capital’s trash bash in time for Canada 150

Iqaluit community clean up set for June 16, plane tickets as prizes


Role up your sleeves, it’s Friday tidy time in Iqaluit.

This year’s city-wide cleanup runs from 9 a.m. until noon, June 16, with a wrap-up public barbecue at the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre.

And, in case a clean city isn’t enough incentive to lend a helping hand, participants will receive free T-shirts and see their names entered for a chance to win a set of Canadian North/Calm Air airplane tickets.

Cleaner-uppers can head to the Unikkaarvik parking lot to pick up bags and gloves between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Keeners can also pick up supplies ahead of time at the visitors centre on June 15.

To make sure volunteers sweep the whole city, a master map will mark out who is cleaning where, and to see what areas are left for tracking down trash. 

Organizers also have a short list of elders’ houses that can be visited for a cleanup. 

The cleanup comes just in time for Canada Day celebrations, and a royal visit.

And organizers have marked out focus areas for tidying that will be used for both events, said David Oberg of the Government of Nunavut’s environment department, during a June 13 briefing at a city council meeting

City councillors also weighed in June 13 on places they thought needed attention.

Coun. Joanasie Akumalik flagged the beach areas around the Grind and Brew café and where sealift is dropped off, while Coun. Simon Nattaq suggested a culvert at the end of the airstrip that attracts debris. 

“It will be beneficial and refreshing for everyone in the community,” said Coun. Noah Papatsie, who suggested inmates and young offenders ought to be invited to take part in the cleanup because “it’s part of healing and rehabilitation because they get a chance to help the community.”

Oberg didn’t say whether his department had made an effort to include inmates, but he said was open to the idea, adding that the beach areas and airstrip would be added to the list of priority locations for cleanups.

In addition to bags and gloves, the city’s economic development department will supply rakes and wheelbarrows for the annual cleaning blitz, which has been on the go for about 10 years.

The noon-time barbecue will take place in the visitors centre parking lot. A draw for door prizes will follow.

To cut down on waste, organizers have asked everyone to bring their own cups to the BBQ.

While hot dogs and prizes are only offered once a year, tidying up around town doesn’t have to be a one-time thing.

“We promote continual community clean up,” said Oberg. “We always have supplies available to anyone who contacts us.”

In other garbage news, the annual large item garbage pick up is scheduled for June 19 to June 23.

Community cleanups are taking place in many Nunavut hamlets. The department is asking residents to contact their hamlet offices for dates and details.