There is no such thing as ‘away’ — taking out the trash is just the beginning.

This is a new monthly column by the Kodiak Island Borough Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) to make citizens aware of how Kodiak handles all of the items we discard at our homes and businesses.  The KIB encourages all citizens to help reduce the amount of materials going into our landfill.

Right now, the call is out for cardboard and aluminum cans, which give the biggest payback in the recycling market. The money helps keep Threshold Recycling operating and pay its workers.



Thousands of cardboard packages come to Kodiak each day and most of it is ending up in the landfill. Cardboard drop off stations are located at the Harbor Spit, Senior Center, Providence Hospital, Bells Flats at the former gas pumps, Safeway parking lot, Parkside, Sharatin and the helo pad on Mission Road. Businesses Threshold will pick up!

Aluminum is the most valuable of all recyclable items. One aluminum can equals enough energy to power a TV for three hours! Americans toss out $700 million worth of cans every year, according to the US Aluminum Association. When you recycle, no need to crush the cans!  Tin cans also are accepted. Rinse, please!

Threshold, which is on Von Scheele Way, right up the road from Safeway, also accepts for recycling batteries, electronics (for a fee), wiring, paper and more. Recycling for plastics is limited to “anything with a neck,” such as milk and juice jugs and bottles. Other plastics are no longer accepted because they have no resale value since China stopped buying US recyclables 2 years ago. In July 107,433 pounds (nearly 54 tons) of materials were recycled by Threshold.

Where does Kodiak’s recycling end up? It goes to Tacoma, Washington, via Matson ships.



Many people ask why the landfill opens late at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday. It is because the employees need several hours to process the trash that is collected and delivered in the early hours by Alaska Waste. Kodiak has a baler landfill — that means all garbage gets compacted into 3,300-pound bales, wrapped with wires, stacked and buried. That takes up a lot of space!

SWAB salutes Henry’s Great Alaskan Restaurant,  Chart Room/Kodiak Inn  and Olds River Inn for using paper based take-out boxes instead of styrofoam.

Do you know someone who deserves a reduce/reuse/recycle shout out?  Do you have ideas? Comments? Questions? Let us know via the comments & questions button at or on Facebook @KodiakIslandBorough.

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