Released under CC BY-NC-ND
Copyright: © 2018 Cisa Publisher
We report results from a two-phase mixed methods research study to illustrate challenges and opportunities of waste management within the rural circumpolar and boreal regions of Canada. In the qualitative research phase, data were obtained from archives, semi-structured interviews with community partners, an information meeting with a community grassroots organization, and a participatory action meeting to develop a case study of the Labrador waste management system. Like many regions across the world’s boreal belt, the study area consists of a population centre surrounded by diffuse, rural communities (many of which are inhabited by Indigenous and First Nations persons), multiple land uses, and complex governance considerations. The area faces harsh climatic conditions (e.g. frigidly cold temperatures and extended winters) that challenge biological processes and organic waste decomposition. These regions are often highly reliant upon natural resources and temporary labour forces to drive economic development, and they bear the environmental consequences of legacy wastes after project closures. In the qualitative research phase, we identify factors contributing to the accrual, management, and transport of inorganic waste across the study region to select a priority waste stream for an economic analysis in the quantitative study phase. In the quantitative phase we build an economic enterprise budget to assess costs associated with converting waste biomass from the construction of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam into biochar with either a fast or slow mobile pyrolysis system. We include photos of the study region and we present an Excel-based spreadsheet tool as a supplemental file.
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