Iqalummuit: Dump your beater while you can

City council poised to ban vehicles from landfill



You may see far more rusting cars, trucks and snowmobiles in the front yards and driveways of Nunavut’s capital, unless a dispute between Iqaluit’s city council and the Government of Nunavut is resolved soon.

Iqaluit’s city council appears prepared to ban the disposal of vehicles in the community’s landfill in order to make a point.

For years the city has argued that it should be able to impose a fee on any car, truck or snowmobile that enters Iqaluit, to pay for the vehicle’s eventual disposal, deputy mayor Glenn Williams said.

“We don’t have the mandate to do that. That mandate lies with the Government of Nunavut,” Williams said during a council meeting on Tuesday.

The vehicles will be banned as of July 1, if a motion passed at that council meeting receives third and final reading.

“What we’re trying to do, we’re trying to say fine, if we can’t address the problem, we’re not going to take the problem anymore. We’re going to ban the disposal of vehicles in our landfill,” Williams said.

“We’re trying to push the government to accept their responsibility for this issue. The first step is to close our landfill to old vehicles.”

City staff echoed Williams’ concerns.

“I think it’s very important that we hold the line… to solve this ever-growing mountain of scrap metal in Iqaluit,” said Mark Hall, the city’s director of public works.

That prompted Coun. Claude Martel to wonder what would happen if he disposed of an old car by simply parking it at the end of the Road to Nowhere.

The answer? He could be fined $500 by the Government of Nunavut’s motor vehicle branch, if the vehicle’s ownership is tracked back to him. The fine increases to $5,000 for companies caught abandoning vehicles.

Coun. Simanuk Kilabuk asked what will happen to Iqalummiut who are unemployed, can’t afford to pay the fine and already own aging snowmobiles, which may have been given to them as gifts.

“What do we do with them? Do we fine them or take them to court? They have no means of income,” he said.

Hall suggested those residents should approach the Government of Nunavut’s motor vehicle branch and ask them what to do with the rusty vehicles.

“Right now the answer is there is no clear answer,” Hall said. “We need to stop accepting this stuff at the landfill.”

Every councillor voted in favour of the motion at Tuesday’s council meeting except for Coun. Simon Nattaq, who opposed it.

The proposed bylaw also introduces a host of new fees for disposing of certain items at the landfill.

Until cars are banned from the landfill, the cost of dumping them would increase from $75 to $200. Snowmobiles, which currently have no disposal fee, would cost $60 until they are banned.

Residents with old car batteries will pay $15 to dispose of them. Initially the city planned to set the rate at $30, but councillors feared the cost would encourage residents to dump batteries out on the land, or in the bay.

Disposing of tires would cost $15 each.

Fridges, freezers and air conditioners would cost $85 to dispose, while other large appliances would cost $50 to dump.

Oil tanks would cost $50 to dump, to cover the cost of welding the tanks before disposal.

The bylaw also substantially increases tipping fees — the cost of dumping rubbish at the landfill. The new fees are:

* $25 per load for half-tonne pick-up trucks, up from the existing $5 a load;
* $50 a load for trucks larger than half-tonne, up from $10 a load;
* $100 a load for trucks larger than 1.5-tonne, up from $35 a load.

As well, any load that contains salvageable wood that hasn’t been separated would face an extra $25 surcharge for half-tonne trucks, and $35 for larger trucks.

Items larger than a truck body, up to 15 cubic metres, would double in cost to dump, from $125 to $250. Anything larger would cost $50 per cubic metre.

Segregated salvageable wood would have a $5 handling charge.

And disposing of construction debris would double in cost, from $50 per cubic metre to $100 per cubic metre. That’s bound to affect any contractor who plans on bidding on the demolition of several buildings this summer, such as the condemned St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral.

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