4 Steps to a More Sustainable Iqaluit


The City is about to start extinguishing Iqaluit's infamous dump fire, and many Iqalummiut are thankful that the noxious problem is finally able to be tackled. But even more Iqalummiut want to know how we can prevent future dump fires and create a more sustainable Iqaluit. Below is a list of four steps you can take to contribute to a more sustainable Iqaluit. This blog post makes use of Sustainable Iqaluit’s resource "Actions for a Better Community" and the City of Iqaluit's resource "Simplifying Waste Separation" – be sure to check them out for even more information.

1. Separate

Big changes to waste management are happening in Iqaluit, but it requires some extra effort on our part. According to CBC, here are the "Top Five Separation Tips":

  1. Separate all paper and cardboard products, like cereal boxes or newspapers, says Director of Public Works Keith Couture.
  2. The city will collect cardboard that's dirty.
  3. Don't separate products that are waxy, like juice packs, Tetra Paks, or milk cartons.
  4. You can either bundle paper and cardboard or put it in a clear bag. The bag doesn't have to be blue, but you have to be able to see through it, so "crews can see what's inside," says Couture.
  5. Paper and cardboard collection replaces one regular garbage pick up.

The City of Iqaluit has made a helpful resource to help you with waste separation. To learn more, check out the two-page poster in EnglishInuktitut, and French.

2. Recycle

Yes, there is recycling in Iqaluit! It involves a few steps itself, but the results are worth the extra legwork.

Alcohol Containers

Beer cans, wine bottles, and liquor bottles can be recycled on Saturdays at Northern Collectables Recycling Centre, situated on Ulu Lane off Federal Road. Added bonus: you get your deposit back. This can be especially lucrative when you’re cleaning up after a party. Say, a solstice bonfire, for example.

Pop Cans

Through its “Yes We Can” program, Arctic Cooperatives Ltd. recycles aluminum pop cans and donates the proceeds to non-profit groups throughout Nunavut. You can drop off your cans in the bin next to the red CO-OP seacan near Baffin Gas Bar.


As part of Northwestel's Directory Recycling Program, students in Iqaluit collect outdated phonebooks to raise money for their school each spring (March-April).


This poster pretty well sums it up:

3. Reduce and/or Reuse

Iqaluit Sell/Swap

From housewares to vehicles, one of our favourite Facebook pages is Iqaluit Sell/Swap. It’s the perfect place to get hold of (or get rid of) a variety of items.

Rummage Sales

Held each weekend, rummage sales provide a great opportunity to pick up new treasures. Check out the Iqaluit Public Service Announcements Facebook page for the most up-to-date opportunities.

Piviniit Thrift Shop

We don’t want to pay $50 for a tee shirt, either, Macklemore. Thankfully, we have Piviniit Thrift Shop. Open Thursdays and Fridays from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, as well as Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:30pm. To volunteer or make a donation, please visit Piviniit (Building 655) or call (867-979-2120).

Nunavut Housing Corporation Furniture Sale

Need a bed? Floor lamp? Side table? Dresser? Kitchen table? Chairs to (mis-)match? The Nunavut Housing Corporation may have you covered. Offered only a couple of times each year, the furniture sale provides surplus goods at incredibly affordable prices. The only catch is that these items are in high demand, so come early with cash in hand. There is no method to this madness – you just have to keep an eye out for advertisement.

Local Organizations

There are many organizations in town that gladly receive clothing donations, including:

  • Tammattaavik Boarding Home  – visit (building 521) or call (867-979-5900)
  • Qimaavik Women’s Shelter  – call (867-979-4500)
  • Uquutak Men’s Shelter  – visit (building 778) or call (867-979-8836)

4. Other

Sustainable Iqaluit has put together a helpful resource with more information, such as how to share food, grow your own vegetables, and even compost your own soil.

Whatever steps you choose to take, we encourage you to please get involved! You can spread the word by posting flyers around your workplace, sharing this post, and starting conversations your friends/colleagues/family/housemates. Your actions can help divert waste from the landfill, strengthen our community, and help us all move towards a more sustainable Iqaluit for the future.