Help Shape the Development of a Waste Resource Management Strategy for the Northwest Territories

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Waste, and how we deal with it, can impact the quality of our land, air and water, as well as the health of wildlife, plants, ecosystems and people living in the Northwest Territories (NWT), and the economic health of communities.

The state of waste management in the NWT needs improvement, especially in the following areas:

  • the NWT waste disposal rate in 2014 is estimated at 946kg per capita – almost 1.4 times the Canadian average, and more than 2.5 times that of Nova Scotia;

  • disposal of waste on public lands and stockpiles of hazardous waste at several municipal landfills needs to be addressed; and

  • support is needed to improve proper containment and disposal at solid waste facilities to prevent contaminants from entering the surrounding environment and to reduce wildlife attraction.

In addition, there are potential economic benefits from improving our management of waste resources.

Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) is leading the development of a Waste Resource Management Strategy, and would like your feedback to help shape it. This questionnaire is meant to collect feedback on this Discussion Paper circulated by ENR and intended to help create dialogue: Developing a Waste Resource Management Strategy for the Northwest Territories. Please refer to the Discussion Paper for more detail than what is provided below.


Goal 1 – Prevent and reduce waste generated at the source

Preventing and reducing waste at the source is the first step in the waste management hierarchy and the focus of this goal. It means not producing waste in the first place.

Please provide your feedback on the Priority Areas and potential actions as listed in the
Discussion Paper. Please feel free to answer the following questions for consideration, or provide any additional comments.

Priority Area (a): Providing tools and information necessary to reduce the amount of waste generated
Potential Actions:

  1. Deliver public awareness campaigns on the environmental and economic benefits of improved waste management.

  2. Promote environmental stewardship and the adoption of behaviours that reduce waste (e.g., reusing goods, buying less and only what is needed, buying used, buying goods with less packaging, growing one’s own food, harvesting country foods, buying local goods and produce), through educational programs and/or campaigns in schools and communities.

  3. Work with larger NWT retailers to provide product options with more sustainable packaging.


Priority Area (b): Reducing food waste from residential and non-residential sectors
Potential Actions:

  1. Develop tools to create awareness and minimize local food waste.

  2. Support organizations that reduce food waste.

Priority Area (c): Reducing litter and keeping our communities clean
Potential Actions:

  1. Collaborate with communities and GNWT departments to deliver public education and awareness campaigns to promote being litter-free and to prevent disposal of waste on public lands.

  2. Encourage anti-litter campaigns and community clean-ups.

  3. Amend the Environmental Protection Act to include anti-littering and disposal of waste on public land in the legislation.

  4. Continually improve and promote the Single-use Retail Bag Program, and update the Single-use Retail Bag Regulations and/or the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act as needed.

  5. Create or amend regulations targeting specific materials to be reduced (e.g., the Single-use Retail Bag Regulations).

  6. Celebrate and promote success stories across the territory.




1. How strongly do you agree with the following priority areas?