Dust spurts from a pile of construction debris as a front-end loader maneuvers it into position at the Kodiak Island Borough Landfill Monday afternoon, June 17, 2013. Construction at the landfill will send residential garbage rates climbing by an average of 5.9 percent next year.
(James Brooks photo)
Kodiak residents likely will see their garbage rates rise next month as the Kodiak Island Borough adjusts to life after the expansion of its new landfill.
On Thursday night, the borough assembly is scheduled to vote on a fee increase that adds $20 per ton to the cost of dumping garbage at the borough landfill. The new fee is expected to pass the assembly without significant opposition.
“It’s just a simple math problem to determine what the fee needs to be to balance our expense budget,” borough engineering and facilities director Woody Koning told the borough assembly last week.
For the borough, that math problem has a $170 answer. At a fee of $170/ton to dump waste in the landfill, the borough can pay for the loans needed to complete work on a new landfill pit.
Rick Vahl, manager of Alaska Waste in Kodiak, said when homeowners see a higher bill, that project is the answer. Without it, residential rates would rise just 1 percent — 20 cents on the average bill.
“Now, instead of 20 cents, it goes up $1.44 for a 32-gallon roll cart,” Vahl said.
A 64-gallon roll cart — the most common used in Kodiak — will cost $2.09 more per month.
“Those are residential rates,” Vahl said. “Commercial customers can expect an increase as well.”
That increase will average 7 percent. “Some customers will see a little more, some a little less,” Vahl said.
Alaska Waste is feeling the pinch, too, he said. His disposal bill will rise from just over $105,000 per month in the spring to more than $120,000 if his projections stay on track.
He’s taking steps to reduce that, encouraging recycling and other programs with the borough’s waste advisory board and likeminded residents.
If successful, that effort could make the Emerald Isle a little greener and put a little green back in the wallets of Kodiak’s ratepayers.
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at email@example.com.