Solid Waste Management in Remote Arctic Communities

The Solid Waste Management in Remote Arctic Communities project seeks to cooperate with local, regional, and national governments, community leaders and solid waste management experts, to leverage available resources and scale up best practices that contribute to resilient and healthier Arctic communities. This umbrella project seeks to provide a number of in-person and online resources to address the unique needs of Arctic communities, from planning to implementation of solid waste management practices. Infrastructure improvements and in-community education and training on maintenance operation for these improvements are a high priority. Coordination with local solid waste management liaisons is crucial to retain a strong and respected field presence with local communities throughout this project.

The project’s overall objectives include:

  • developing environmentally sound solid waste and marine debris management in Arctic communities
  • building capacity in selected communities in need of solid waste management improvement,as demonstration projects
  • encouraging cooperation and information sharing among pilot communities through workshops and community level developmental mentorship activities based on culturally appropriate communications and management templates,
  • conducting outreach workshops in Arctic communities outside the pilot communities in need of solid waste management tools,
  • developing information material on solid waste and marine debris management for Arctic communities, including a webpage (hosted on an Arctic Council Working Group website) that will serve as an online exchange network for community solid waste management planning. The website will serve as a “one-stop shop” for access to lessons learned, easy to follow tool kits, best practices, fact sheets, case studies, templates for agreements, and guidance on community standards.

Main outcomes of the larger project include completion of solid waste clean-up pilot projects in 3-5 Arctic communities that can be used as best practices for other circumpolar communities tackling similar solid waste management challenges. The project involves full and active participation by community leaders, mentorships, sharing of best practices among pilot communities throughout the project as well as leaving in place mechanisms for developing and maintaining community standards.

This project builds on the 2018 SDWG desk study “Best Waste Management Practices for Small and Remote Arctic Communities,” the outcomes of the 2016 ACAP workshop “Sharing Approaches on Community Solid and Hazardous Management Within Arctic Indigenous Communities” (Nome, Alaska 2016), and the results from the first phase of the ACAP Kola Waste Project. In February 2020, Crown Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada funded a workshop hosted by Aleut International Association to bring together experts to help scope out the next phase of the solid waste project.

Project details
Completion date
AIA, Canada, Finland, USA, Sami Council

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