On the scene at one of the Tundra Take-Back locations in 2016. A big part of the project involves professional automotive recyclers training local people to maintain the clean-up efforts in an environmentally conscious way.

By Shelby Kerbel

Toronto, Ontario -- November 23, 2016 -- Many communities in Canada’s far north face significant challenges with effective vehicle recycling. Typically, end-of-life vehicles are simply piled up at the local dump. It’s a daunting task, but the Tundra Take-Back project proves that where there's a will, there’s a way. The project started in 2014 when industry partners banded together to clean up the Arctic and help Nunavut’s Arviat and Gjoa Haven communities establish sustainable models for dealing with hazardous vehicle waste.

Building on the success of projects in 2014 and 2015, Scout Environmental delivered the Tundra Take-Back program in five communities this summer. These projects, located in the Nunatsiavut region of Labrador, the Nunavik region of Quebec, and on the coast of British Columbia, focused on the sustainable management of a significant amount of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), appliances, heavy equipment and environmentally hazardous pollutants, and addressed the goal of maximizing the use of existing dump space and diverting significant amounts of waste through scrap metal collection and hazardous waste disposal. As well, the projects fed into the regional waste management planning process, and the training component increased depollution capacity within each community.

Projects were executed in three communities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador: Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet. The successful execution of these projects was possible thanks to financial support provided by Nunatsiavut Government’s Sustainable Communities Initiative, Inuit Pathways, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s Land and Economic Development Services Program (LEDSP), and the Automotive Recyclers of Canada, and in-kind support provided by Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet Inuit Community Governments.

  Local hires in Kangirsuk receiving in-field training from volunteer auto recycler, Ken Edwards from Peterboro Auto Recyclers.  

Local hires in Kangirsuk receiving in-field training from volunteer auto recycler,
Ken
Edwards from Peterboro Auto Recyclers.

 

Nunatsiavut Program Results

Decommissioning Estimates:
•    179 end-of-life vehicles
•    115 fridges/freezers
•    566 other appliances
•    26 drums drained and crushed
•    67 diesel tanks drained and crushed

Estimated Pollutants Recovered:
•    51 drums of oil, spent gasoline and antifreeze. Each drum holds 208 litres.
•    1 .25 full tanks of mixed refrigerants
•    277 batteries
•    72 tires
•    2  buckets of lead wheel weights
•    1.5 buckets of mercury switches

Tundra Take-Back was also executed in the community of Kangirsuk in the Nunavik region of Quebec. This project was funded by the Kativik Regional Government and received additional financial support from the Automotive Recyclers of Canada, and in-kind support from La Federation des Cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec (FCNQ).

Nunavik Program Results

Decommissioning Estimates:

•    72 end-of-life vehicles
•    15 pieces of heavy equipment (loaders, bulldozers, fuel trucks, dump trucks, buses)
•    15 fridges/freezers

Estimated Pollutants Recovered:

•    7 drums of used oil
•    7 drums of fuel
•    2 drums of antifreeze
•    1 drum of windshield washer fluid
•    Approximately 20 lbs. of lead
•    Approximately 12 mercury switches

The Tundra Take-Back BC Training Initiative was executed in Kitkatla (Gitxaala), British Columbia, on a remote island off the coast of Prince Rupert, accessible only by float plane or boat. The BC initiative focused on capacity building, by training the local waste management team to depollute ELVs and decommission appliances to support their waste management efforts. They have moved from a landfill to a transfer station, but are still having issues addressing bulky metal waste. This project is a pilot to adapt the TTB model to the BC context. This project was supported by the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council and with funding from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s Land and Economic Development Services Program (LEDSP), with additional financial support from ARC, the Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable (MARR), and Tire Stewardship BC, with additional in-kind support from ABC Recycling.

Kitkatla Program Results

Decommissioning Estimates:

•    Approximately four ELVs
•    17 fridges/freezers
•    1 ATV

These projects would not have been possible without the auto and appliance recyclers who generously volunteered their time to help train and support the local hires, and assist with the depollution and management of the above-mentioned products and substances.

The Tundra Take-Back model was designed and developed by Scout Environmental, a national not-for-profit organization that specializes in the development, delivery and management of creative programs that engage people on issues related to the environment. Scout continues to provide program delivery expertise for all Tundra Take-Back projects and is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with new partners.

ARC Volunteers

Postville, Labrador:  Calvin Kennedy, Aldon Auto
Makkovik, Labrador: Donnie Laiss – ABC Recycling
Rigolet, Labrador: Sarah Brophy – Popow & Sons Body Shop Ltd
Kangirsuk, Quebec: Ken Edwards – Peterboro Auto Recyclers
Kitkatla, British Columbia: Dave Peaire – SLM Recycling

Additional support was provided by the following volunteers:
Postville and Makkovik, Labrador: Matthew Stephens – Region of Peel
Rigolet, Labrador: Calvin Paul – Pure Sphera
Kangirsuk, Quebec: Evan Westaway – ABC Recycling

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