Nunavut, Canada: Every year this Canadian capital city experiences the burning of trash. However this is not any ordinary situation. The burning of the household waste from the area residents, is on such a large scale, it has been nicknamed the Dumpcano.
In 2010, it took over 36 days, hundreds of thousands of dollars and gallons of water to extinguish the flame. Unfortunately this year’s Dumpcano is 5 times the size of that Dumpcano and it has been ablaze since May 20th. So why do these Canadians continue to burn trash? Well they didn’t start the fire!
The yearly dump fires are a result of spontaneous combustion. The Dumpcano has naturally sparked a serious problem with no end in sight. Currently and fortunately the 4 story football field of garbage is smoldering but it will still take over 2 million dollars safely put out. Even if the City ponies up for the extinguishing, there are still many things working against them.
The town of Iqaluit, where the Dumpcano sits, has almost tripled its population since 1999. Iqaliut severely lacks any type of sorting or recycling. This allows over 26 tons of trash adding fuel to the Dumpcano on a daily basis. With the smell of burning trash filling the air and homes of area residents, a solution is desperately needed.
As the days continue to roll by with no action, tourists have begun flocking to the area to see the Dumpcano for themselves. This is obviously not the tourism reputation that the pristine Arctic wants and increased wind has not allowed for any improvements. Luckily area residents have been taking matters into their own hands.
The residents of Iqaluit have started to sort the waste and if it becomes a total effort over 50% of materials can be diverted from the landfill. Then they can burn items such as wood and paper themselves. It seems that these Canadians just love burning trash. So much so that another real option involves incineration.
Many believe the solution lies with building an incineration plant. Earlier in the year, they invested $500,000 in a gasification pilot project. This project would be able to incinerate over 500 kilograms of waste per day.
The Dumpcano seems to be lacking international attention for a variety of reasons. Many people do not want to highlight a huge pile of burning waste and this dump fire has almost become common place in the area. Regardless, there is always hope that this is the last year of the Dumpcano.
A majority of the Dumpcano is over 4 stories in height and covers over 200 yards of land. The burning was only originally noticed because the blaze was picked up on thermal imaging. The fusing of hazardous materials is not only terrible for the health of people but also the land on which it rests.
It is a very real possibility that the spontaneous combustion of waste can occur in one of our landfills. It is costly and dangerous to put out these fires, so it is essential to sort and divert as much waste from our landfills as possible. If you have unwanted materials needing proper disposal, please do not hesitate to contact Budget Dumpster!