trash clean up

A Good Samaritan cleaned up this pile of trash, near the Monashka Bay Road turnoff, which was once scattered on a nearby hill, on April 11. (Photo courtesy of Jack Maker)

Last week a Good Samaritan cleaned up an area that has been a problem dumping ground for trash for the Kodiak Island Borough.

Jack Maker, borough code enforcement officer, received a few calls last week about a big pile of appliances that were dumped out at the Monashka Bay Road turnoff just past Pillar Creek Road.

When he left to investigate the situation on Thursday afternoon, he was expecting the worst, but when he arrived his frustration quickly changed to appreciation. He realized that all of the items that were in the pile were the items that had once been scattered around the adjacent hillside at the turnoff. The items included an empty 500-gallon oil tank, an old snow machine, a cast iron bathtub and several other large items.

“To me it was to go from frustration to ‘wow this is cool,’” Maker said. “It was certainly not the thing I was going to expect to have when I drove up on it.”

Maker said he was able to tell this was the same trash from the hill because he recognized the large appliances and the old snow machine from previous patrols in the area.

“On my patrols I commonly check this area out,” he said. “I actually look to see if anything new has been added or if there is something small enough or close enough to the edge that I can pull up myself and I throw it in the back of the truck.”

Maker said the area has been a common dumping ground for years, and he’s found everything from animal carcasses to trailers on the hill.

“People can back their trucks right up to the edge of the turnout and basically kick the stuff out of the back of their truck and it will roll down the hill,” he said. “There’s absolutely no reason for it other than people are completely irresponsible or unaware of the fact that they drive by landfill that will take most of these type of items for free.”

The borough landfill will accept up to 500 pounds of residential waste a day from individuals including washers, dryers, dishwashers, furniture, and old barbecues.

Cleaning up the Monashka Bay Road property was on Maker’s to-do list. He estimated the person or group of people who did the cleanup on their own saved the borough at least $1,000 that would have been incurred from renting equipment to haul it up the hillside.

“I clean these up slowly as the budget allows,” Maker said. “I usually wait until the end of the fiscal year to try to attack these properties.”

Maker still doesn’t know who the Good Samaritan was, but has scheduled a team to pick up the trash and haul it to the landfill this morning.

The “Project Kodiak Cleanup” group in Kodiak is also trying to save the borough and city money by organizing community cleanups, although it was not responsible for this one.

Judi Kidder, one of the lead organizers in the group, said she hopes to get more volunteers so the group can do larger cleanups at Gibson Cove and the Jack Lake area.

“We want the community to be involved,” she said. “If the city does it or the borough does it that's our tax dollars being spent. If the community does it, the local doesn't need to spend money.”

On Sunday, a few members of the group picked up and filled six bags of trash along the bike path and in the ditch from Woody Way Loop to Benny Benson Drive.

To get more information about the group’s organized projects, which usually occur on Sunday’s around 2 p.m., search for “Project Kodiak Cleanup” on Facebook.

Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at nklauss@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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