For a week water hardships that have left residents living in NunavutThe city of Iqaluit without drinking water also reveals a major problem for many northern areas: It is impossible to carefully remove waste.
About 750,000 plastic bottles of floodwaters in the city a few days ago workers working in the city last week found oil in Iqaluit water. When the joint ventures agreed to send empty bottles back, most of the city’s waste does not return to the south.
Instead, everything from old cars to broken toys live in the North, blocking the Iqaluit swamp and endangering human health, food, and the environment. Also, the city is not unique. Many northerners will not be able to get rid of their garbage safely — the problem is said to be due to financial constraints and colonial heritage.
“Most regions do not have a place to make plastic,” says Susanna Fuller, vice president of operations and projects at Oceans North, an environmental watchdog that earlier this year released a more comprehensive report on waste management in Arctic Canada. “All the planes are empty and the ships are empty [making deliveries to the North] it should be full of return [south]. ”
That’s just part of the problem. During the 20th century, federal government forced Inuit and other Indians in northern Canada to settle in the south. The towns grew rapidly as governments set aside funds for government services such as airports and water treatment plants, and people relied heavily on food and supplies from southern Canada.
On the other side were the items: plastic, car parts, and many other forms of detritus piled up. Relocating them to recycling and disposal facilities in southern Canada – the best way to care for the environment – was costly for companies and very expensive for many governments.
As a result, many areas in northern Canada send their waste to landfills, and many use open lakes and permanent pools to dump the city’s wastewater. Also, no region in Arctic Canada has a fire extinguisher, which leaves some relying on the destructive practice of outdoor burning, says a North Oceans report.
“Most landfills are a disaster,” says Fuller.
“Unlike many people in southern Canada, we have been facing a serious, growing and growing problem in urban areas for many years,” wrote Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Inuit Canada’s representative in the report. “Currently we do not make direct decisions on recycling, reducing, or diverting paper, cardboard, plastics, hazardous materials, and waste that fill our landfills, threaten our unsustainable water and food products, and directly. Pollute our air.”
Air dumps and garbage burning create a number of hazardous chemicals that can easily be absorbed into the surrounding area as well as the animals or fish that live nearby, according to June. reports and the International Pollutant Elimination Network, a global group of environmental organizations. In July reports and ITK found that locally harvested wild foods such as fish, fruits, or wildlife provide up to one-half of the protein content needed in Inuit. Harvesting and hunting are also culturally important – about 85 percent of Inuit people 15 years of age or older hunt or trap – and can provide a cheaper alternative than cheap imported food.