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NNSL Photo/Graphic

Monica Gardner and Zachary Cousins, students at Aqsarniit Illiniarvik school, made a presentation to Iqaluit city council to show support for the recycling program. - Neils Christensen/NNSL photo

Recycling in financial trouble

Neils Christensen
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (June 14/04) - Iqaluit city council is going to have to dig deep to find a way to cover the costs of recycling in Nunavut's capital.

Council has agreed to continue the program despite the fact it's running over budget.

For 2004, the city only budgeted $5,000 for the program. Mark Hall, director of public works, said the city has spent $115,000 in the last six months.

"I'm not challenging the benefits of recycling," Hall said. "I'm challenging the cost of the program. We have a wholly unfunded program."

Coun. Chris Wilson said council made a huge mistake in December during budget talks."

"We only budgeted $5,000 and that's why we're dealing with this," he said.

The councillors at the June 8, meeting agreed that cutting the program is not the solution.

The community has also stepped forward to show its support for the program. Monica Gardner and Zachary Cousins, students from Aqsarniit Illiniarvik middle school made a presentation on behalf of the environmental club.

"When we heard the city might cancel its recycling program we knew we needed to get up on our feet and talk about it with you," Gardner said.

Coun. Nancy Gillis, chairperson of the solid waste management committee, said they are looking at developing a plan that will help them to find funding.

Options and funding out there

"There are options and funding out there," she said. "If we have something in place we can apply for funding."

Coun. Glenn Williams said while he was in favour of the program it was obvious it needs to be modified to cut spending. He also commended Hall for bringing the problem before council.

"We have a problem and now we have to find a solution," he said. "I think there are ways to cut costs. Maybe we don't have to pick up recycling every week, maybe every two weeks."