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Trash collectors forced to improvise

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Aug 19/02) - City of Iqaluit staff are proving just how creative they can be after both garbage trucks broke down this month.

Jim Grittner, the director of public works for the city, said that when the two garbage trucks recently went out of commission, the department was forced to use a loader, two dump trucks and five helpers to collect trash from the city's some 6,000 residents.

While the new system is interesting to watch, it's tough on employees. The helpers run to residential and commercial garbage cans and throw the trash in the bucket of the loader.

Once full, the loader empties the waste into the dump truck. The material is then taken to the landfill site.

The city's pickup truck continues to collect recyclable materials from residents.

Adding to the stress is the recent breakdown of three of five of the sewer trucks.

"It's frustrating for everybody when you come to work and you don't have the proper equipment," said Grittner. "You feel like you're behind the 8-ball."

The good news however, is that approximately $30,000 in parts were ordered and a brand new $175,000 garbage truck is set to arrive on the last sealift of the season. Now, it's a matter of waiting for the air cargo to arrive and for repairs to be made.

"We do appreciate the patience of residents. This is trying on them," said Grittner.