There are many options for waste management in the community of Listuguj – regular garbage pickup, recycling, the eco-center, the transfer site, and as of 2022, composting.

Marie-Christine Roussel Gray was working for the Sustainable Development Institute in Wendake, QC in 2017, when the idea of starting a composting project in Listuguj was brought to her attention. The company did its research and developed a waste management plan based on how much waste is being produced in Listuguj.  After this study was completed, the plan went into effect. “It was the start of the composting program and all the projects we’ve had to improve waste and environment in general,” said Roussel Gray. Roussel Gray then moved to Listuguj and became the Environmental and Sustainable Development Coordinator at Capital and Infrastructure, taking on the composting project in the community.  After receiving the funds from Indigenous Services Canada in 2019, the compost project officially began in July, 2022.

Even though there were enough composting bins for every house in Listuguj, Capital and Infrastructure did a voluntary approach initially for community members.  The research found that quite a few households were already practicing composting, but the bin just took it to the next level. There were a lot of participants at first, but Capital and Infrastructure are aware of the challenges that may come with composting in the cold winter months.

Composting is also offered at Alaqsite’w Gitpu School, and eventually, the program will include all Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government buildings – at first, primarily focusing on buildings that produce more food, or that house a cafeteria (schools, Gignu, Waqatasg Elders Home, etc.)

When asked why composting is important in the community, Roussel Gray said, “There is always the environmental argument when it comes to composting, but there’s also the financial reasons. Waste costs a lot.” Having the community compost in their everyday lives will lower the cost of waste transportation.  Currently, waste goes to St. Alphonse de Caplan which is roughly 110 KM away. “Compost is wet and heavy, so that is something that we have to pay to carry. Now, we just keep it here. The more people who compost, the easier it will be to manage and maintain. The more people who participate, the more money we’ll save in the community,” said Roussel Gray.  

There are other methods of waste management in the community. There is regular curbside garbage pickup that occurs Thursdays between 8 AM and 5 PM. The garbage is collected and taken to a landfill.  Recycling is done bi-weekly, and the company is subcontracted by Listuguj and taken to a sorting centre. The Eco-Center is located at the Public Works Garage where community members can dispose of their household hazardous waste, such as used oils, propane cylinders, etc.  This is a monitored site and is locked at night. Lastly, the transfer site is where community members can dispose of bulkier items such as household appliances and furniture.

There are many waste management options in Listuguj and Capital and Infrastructure have developed many tools to help the community navigate which items go where. At this time, a sorting guide is available for pickup at the Capital and Infrastructure building or online at listuguj.ca. There is a Listuguj Environment Facebook page that frequently posts calendars and reminders. A new tool is in the words as well – an app that can be downloaded onto your phone. “You will be able to put your address in, and it will show you a calendar for pickup. You can set up notifications on when to put out your bins,” said Roussel Gray.

If you are interested in composting, please visit Public Works weekdays from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM to pick up your bin. If you have any questions regarding waste management in Listuguj, feel free to message the Listuguj Environment Facebook page, or email them at environment@listuguj.ca.

By Ann Marie Jacques

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