This monthly column by the Kodiak Island Borough Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) aims to make all citizens aware of how Kodiak handles the many items we “throw away” at our homes and businesses. The KIB encourages everyone to help reduce the amount of materials going into our landfill.
Kodiak’s landfill so far includes 97.34 acres. It is a baler landfill where all garbage gets compacted into 3,300-pound bales, wrapped with wires, stacked and buried.
Heavy duty litter fences are used to reduce windblown garbage. Landfill staff say that Kodiak’s plastic bag ban, that has been in place for a year, has greatly reduced the airborne litter that is a side effect of a landfill operation. The most noticeable difference is the lack of plastic clinging to the trees on the border of the landfill. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) requires that the airborne litter be collected, so the lack of plastic bags due to the ban also saves the landfill labor costs!
Kodiak’s landfill operations are supported completely by disposal fees. Most of the fees are based on garbage collection services from residential roll carts and dumpsters. If anyone has more residential waste that they need to dispose of, they can deliver it to the landfill in a covered load, up to 260 pounds per day, for free! Most household appliances are accepted, except for refrigerators and freezers, which only cost $10 each to dispose of due to the evacuation of the refrigerant. There are other fees associated with disposing different types of waste. Check out the Kodiak Island Borough Fee Schedule for more information. https://www.kodiakak.us/DocumentCenter/View/1529/Kodiak-Island-Borough-Fee-Schedule
ABOUT THOSE BATTERIES
Batteries are a routine part of our lives, but it’s not always clear what to do with them when they get used up. Save your 9 volt, AAA, AA, C, D and other small batteries in a container and when it’s full, bring it to the landfill for free disposal. Lead acid car batteries also are free for residential customers to drop off.
Batteries are considered hazardous waste because they contain toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, lithium, or sulfuric acid. These toxins can leak into the environment and contaminate groundwater and lands. There’s also a chance that batteries can short circuit, overheat and cause a fire. In some places it is illegal to put even one battery in the trash. You also can properly dispose of your batteries during Kodiak’s yearly hazardous waste collection events.
GIVE YOUR GARBAGE ANOTHER LIFE —
Threshold Recycling Services is on Von Scheele Way, up the road from Safeway. You can drop off your aluminum cans (the most valuable of all recyclables), tin cans (rinse, please!), electronics, wiring, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, office paper, fluorescent bulbs and much more. Plastic containers with a neck, such as milk and juice jugs, laundry bottles, syrup bottles, etc. also are accepted.
CALL FOR CARDBOARD
The KIB is asking all residents to recycle carboard. Thousands of cardboard packages come to Kodiak each week and the volume will increase during the holidays. Most of Kodiak’s cardboard is ending up in our landfill. Cardboard (including cereal and cracker boxes, etc.) gives one of the biggest returns in recycling markets. Locally, the money helps keep Threshold operating and pay its workers. The cardboard is compressed into bales that are taken by Matson ships to a recycling plant at Tacoma, Washington.
There are many cardboard drop off stations in residential areas around Kodiak, including Bells Flats and Pasagshak. Many are located right next to the trash dumpsters. Find a map of all drop off stations at the KIB website under Solid Waste Management/Quick Links. Businesses — Threshold will pick up your cardboard!
SWAB salutes Java Flats, Taco 49 and The Den Catering for using compostable/biodegradable materials instead of plastics and Styrofoam.
Do you know someone who deserves a reduce/reuse/recycle shout out? Got ideas, comments or questions? Let us know at www.kodiakak.us at the Questions/Comments section or on Facebook @KodiakIslandBorough.
Thank you for joining the effort to be better caretakers of our beautiful island community!