Environmental Guideline for the Burning and Incineration of Solid Waste
People living and working in Nunavut often have limited options available for cost effective and environmentally sound
management of household and other solid waste. The widespread presence of permafrost, lack of adequate cover material and
remote locations make open burning and incineration a common and widespread practice to reduce the volume of solid waste and
make it less of an attractant to wildlife. A wide variety of combustion methods are used ranging from open burning on the
ground to high temperature dual-chamber commercial incinerators. Generally, high temperature incinerators are more expensive
to purchase and operate and cause less pollution than do the less expensive and lower temperature methods. However, high
temperature incinerators can safely dispose of a wider variety of waste than can the lower temperature open burning methods.
The Guideline for the Burning and Incineration of Solid Waste (the Guideline) is not intended to promote or endorse the
burning and incineration of solid waste. It is intended to be a resource for traditional, field and commercial camp
operators, communities and others considering burning and incineration as an element of their solid waste management program.
It examines waste burning and incineration methods that are used in Nunavut, their hazards and risks and outlines best
management practices that can reduce impacts on the environment, reduce human-wildlife interactions and ensure worker and
public health and safety. This Guideline does not address incineration of biomedical waste, hazardous waste and sewage
sludge. The management of these wastes requires specific equipment, operational controls and training that are beyond the
scope of the current document.
The Environmental Protection Act enables the Government of Nunavut to implement measures to preserve, protect and enhance the
quality of the environment. Section 2.2 of the Act provides the Minister with authority to develop, coordinate, and
administer the Guideline.
The Guideline is not an official statement of the law. For further information and guidance, the owner or person in charge,
management or control of a solid waste is encouraged to review all applicable legislation and consult the Department of
Environment, other regulatory agencies or qualified persons with expertise in the management of solid waste.