A Trip to Winnipeg

A trip to Winnipeg, or what should be done with hazardous and electronic waste in a First Nations, fly-in community?

Our school has a fantastic array of technology available for staff and students. This does mean, though, that there is (well, was, but keep reading), a considerable amount of unused electronics (mostly obsolete computers) that has become waste.

I decided to take this e-waste to Winnipeg, where it can be properly disposed of.  Here’s a photo-essay of my journey.

Getting some 250 pounds of e-waste to the airport required assistance. I can tell you, when one becomes principal it seems no one is more important than the caretaker. And so it was my caretaker, Alec, I relied on to help me move this stuff. Alec’s story would break your heart if you knew it.

Here’s the e-waste:

Here’s terminal 1 of the Poplar Hill Airport. Of course, it is also terminal 2, 3, 4 and 5. Very efficient.

I was hoping my picture would catch the elevation printed on the sign. That’s what is printed below “Poplar Hill”. I really wished I’d paid more attention in high school geography. I’ve never quite known how to interpret these elevation figures. I suppose it is above the sea level that the rivers drain into. I don’t know where the watershed is, so I can’t say whether that’s Lake Ontario or James Bay.

The security system at the airport is quite different from, say Pearson. After landing the plane, the pilot unlocks the door to the terminal by punching in the code on the lock.

Fortunately, if you really have to go the bathroom or otherwise need to get into the terminal you don’t need to wait. You just go through the gate …

Then you can enter the terminal through this door, which will be unlocked:

It all takes you to the same place:

(The door with the red sign is the door with the lock that the pilot enters.) That’s the check-in counter. I’ve never actually seen anyone there. Usually the pilot just crosses off names on a list he has.

Now, to the plane.

There are other planes that fly here, but all the flights I’ve taken have been on single engine 9-seaters. Sometimes there has been a co-pilot. (I think the co-pilots have actually been pilots-in-training).

Here’s view from the the inside.

Finally, I arrive at my destination in Winnipeg, Mother Earth Recycling. 

This is from their website, and why I chose this destination:

Mother Earth Recycling (MER) is a Winnipeg-based Aboriginal Social Enterprise.Our mission is to provide meaningful training and employment opportunities to the Aboriginal community through environmentally sustainable initiatives.

And so this most excellent adventure comes to an end!

Until next time,

May you live with ease,
May you be safe from harm and free from cruelty and suffering
May you be happy, healthy and prosperous
May you embody equanimity and resilance.

~Jim