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Hamlet moves to open new dump

Public will have restricted access to the site

Nathan VanderKlippe
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Aug 07/02) - Years after choosing a location for a new Rankin dump, hamlet council has given its stamp of approval to actually opening it.

Councillors unanimously approved the dump's location at a special meeting held July 24. This sets the gears in motion on a series of tender applications and contracts. Work on the dump could start in August.

"The site is first class," said Coun. Robert Janes.

Work on the dump was delayed by council's desire to make a final decision on the location.

While contracts were originally supposed to be awarded by Aug. 2., that date has now been pushed back to Aug. 16.

Tender packages went out in the beginning of the month.

Contracts will be awarded for a road to the site plus a berm and fencing around the new landfill. All told, the trash will be surrounded by almost 10 metres of earth and fence.

That should minimize the amount of garbage that is blown out of the dump, said some councillors.

Moving the dump has been a hamlet priority since the early '90s, when health concerns arose about the landfill's proximity to the town. The hamlet has since secured about $1.5 million in funding from the department of Community Government and Transportation to establish a new dump site and reclaim the current one.

"We have to make it so that it's not environmentally-hazardous," said Coun. David Ningeongan.

The dump site, about six kilometres out of town off the trail to the Diana River, has other advantages as well.

"We're going to have limited access to the public with the new site, meaning garbage bags aren't going to be allowed to be ripped up in the new site," said Ningeongan.

And Janes said the road to the dump site opens up a new area just beyond the actual landfill that could be used for recreation.

"It's a really nice area to open up for tourism," he said.

Council will also commission a study to determine the impact of the dump on bird populations.

The new site is located a short distance from the end of one of the airport's runways, and too many birds could disrupt low-flying aircraft.

Other cities have already had to make adjustments for birds.

For example, Yellowknife had to close a dump location a few hundred metres from the airport because it attracted to many fowl.