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An idea is like a little seed. If it is properly planted, nourished and cared for, from it great things can grow. This week I thought I would talk about two which have appeared on Facebook. Both deal with garbage problems, but in different ways.

The dump may have reopened but once again no provision was made for salvaging. This means a lot of good and valuable things are just being buried with the rest of the trash. That is a real step backwards because more stuff is buried. Also, it is throwing valuable things and in effect money away. Remember the wise old adage “Waste Not Want Not.”

Tales from the Dump

Steve and Jennifer Payne came up with an incredible idea and started the Facebook page Salvagers Unite. It is brilliant in its simplicity. If you have something you want to get rid of, just snap a picture of it and post the item, to see if anyone out there could use it. Also, if you are ISO or in search of an item, you just put a post on, and it often gets a reply offering the item you need for free. No money is exchanged.

So far, I have given away several items and picked up a couple. This all keeps items from going to the dump and helps people out. So, it is a great idea. However, I still think the dump should have an area where good things are set aside, and the city should demand or ensure that good things are set aside. If we are going to survive as a species, we really have to stop or put the brakes on our disposable and throw away society.

There is even a movement in some parts of the world for manufacturers to make things “repairable” just like the good old days.

Garbage dumps are expensive to run and an incredible waste of resources, so over time personally I would like to see them phased out. It is doable but will take time and great ideas like Salvagers Unite. One of the real bonuses to salvaging is that it helps reduce the cost of living in the North and it helps those in need.

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The second Facebook page was started by Stephanie Harris and is called Yellowknife Cleanup. Basically it is a group of people who are a little tired of the garbage dump Yellowknife has become and they are actually getting out there and helping clean up some of the areas the city’s yearly spring cleanup missed or regularly misses like the sand pits, which is a notorious place for people illegally dumping.

Every year the amount of garbage and litter that appears in and around Yellowknife seems to be getting worse yet unfortunately most people including the city and GNWT seem to turn a blind eye to it. A few hidden cameras could go a long way to catching and issuing fines to illegal dumpers.

Look around.

A sofa floats in a pond at the sand pits. Shopping carts, bicycles, plywood and pylons sit in Frame Lake. A rug is abandoned at the Vee Lake Boat Launch. Old barbeques scattered all over the place. This just should not be allowed or tolerated.

So, this Facebook group is trying to help and hopefully raises awareness of the issue. I applaud their efforts and hopefully, it is a start of making real and meaningful changes.

photo courtesy of Zerline Rodriguez
A wide variety of perfectly good stuff that would otherwise be ploughed into the field of trash at the dump is available for pick-up in the Facebook group Salvagers Unite, columnist Walt Humphries writes.

All the garbage and litter scattered around looks terrible and are certainly bad for the land, the environment, us, and the wildlife. Think about how much this costs everyone. The city spends $40,000 on just the spring cleanup alone and then a lot of city employee hours are wasted cleaning up as well.

The GNWT and federal government does the same as do many businesses.

So, add it all up and this is probably a million-dollar issue that your taxes are paying for it. Economics helps to make people, politicians and bureaucrats, sit up and take notice.

I hope that these two Facebook pages are seeds of ideas that take root and grow.

After all, it is planting season in the North.

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