Iqaluit scrap metal leaves town
Much-delayed sealift out finally takes place
It’s rare when material goes from Iqaluit’s beach to a sealift barge rather than the other way around, but that’s exactly what happened earlier this month.
At long last, Iqaluit has gotten rid of much of the scrap metal and vehicle parts that filled the city’s landfill and littered its edges.
“I think we can likely safely say that we can get rid of 80 per cent of the metal this year,” said public works superintendent Frank Ford.
Roughly a third of the landfill was full of scrap metal, Ford said, and with the removal of most of it this summer, there will more room for scrap wood and regular garbage that occupy the rest of the site.
A contractor excavated roughly 3,000 tonnes of metal out of the North 40 area of the city in 2009 and mustered it near the beach.
But the freighter slated to ship the waste out left Frobisher Bay abruptly last year due to high winds and gathering ice.
In preparation for the metal’s removal, public works staff spent most of July gathering defunct vehicles and other scrap metal in Iqaluit free of charge and bringing them to the landfill for crushing.
“That got rid of most of it, but it sure filled up our landfill too,” Ford said.
Earlier this month, the NEAS freighter MV Aivik spent five days off Iqaluit, loading 6,500 cubic metres of scrap, some of which has been in Iqaluit for decades.
The flat-bottom ship was necessary, explained NEAS’s Iqaluit representative David Ell, because its rear loading hatch can be opened at sea.
That allows Aivik’s onboard forklifts to unload the barges which ferry their load from the Iqaluit beach, instead of using the slower and riskier big cranes to unload the barges. Ell said the process took about a day and a half.
The City of Iqaluit isn’t paying for the freight haul out, Ell said. Those costs will be recovered from the scrap company in Quebec that is taking on Iqaluit’s metal waste.
Other vehicle-related waste leaving Iqaluit include thousands of old tires and vehicle batteries.
Rubber from the tires can be reused, as can the chemicals inside the batteries.
There’s also some 5,000 tonnes of scrap metal at the West 40, but some of that is old and partly buried and will require a magnetic crane to remove. That work will likely be done next summer.