CBJ Assembly to discuss solid waste, SLAM project

The City and Borough of Juneau is finally getting to work on a comprehensive recycling program at the landfill in Lemon Creek, which may lead to curbside recycling in the Capital City.

Landfill operator Waste Management and garbage collection company Arrow Refuse have reached a tentative agreement on a new tipping fee contract. CBJ Public Works Director Kirk Duncan says that allows the city to resume negotiations with Waste Management over the recycling program.

“It looks like Arrow’s going to be taking the refuse to Waste Management for the next 10 years. So, now Waste Management and CBJ can sit down and start negotiating what the new recycling facility looks like and what the costs are going to be and how we’re going to roll household hazardous waste and junk vehicles into the program,” Duncan says.

Right now the city has contracts to offer three separate recycling services: Household products like paper, aluminum and glass can be dropped off at the landfill Tuesday through Saturday; hazardous waste is collected on designated days a handful of times per year; the same goes for junk vehicles.

Duncan says the city spends about a million dollars a year on those services. Bringing them all under the umbrella of Waste Management at the landfill isn’t expected to save any money, but hopefully it will be easier for residents.

“Consolidation, while not saving the city a tremendous amount of money, will make it much more convenient for everybody to use the facility,” says Duncan. “It also allows Arrow – if they wish to pursue this concept and they’ve made certainly overtures to doing this – they want to start doing curbside recycling. So that’s a potential as well.”

Waste Management was selected for the consolidated recycling contract in August. But negotiations with the city were put on hold when Arrow Refuse announced in September a plan to start a curbside recycling program, and barge trash to the Lower 48 instead of dumping it in the landfill. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska rejected that proposal.

Arrow has since filed a new plan with the RCA that does not include curbside recycling. But as KTOO reported in December, the company hopes to add the service in Juneau soon.

Duncan, along with officials from Waste Management and Arrow Refuse, will discuss solid waste issues at tonight’s CBJ Assembly Committee of the Whole meeting.

Also tonight, the assembly will get an update on the State Library Archives and Museums, or SLAM project, from the state’s hired architect.

The meeting starts at 6 o’ clock in City Hall Assembly Chambers.