RCA to investigate Arrow’s garbage plan

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska will take more time to investigate Alaska Pacific Environmental Services’ plan to change the way garbage is collected in Juneau.

Late last year, Alaska Pacific – which does business as Arrow Refuse – asked the RCA to let it go to an automated roll cart service for existing Juneau customers. While rates for garbage collection would largely stay the same or go down under the proposal, customers would have to pay a monthly rental fee of $3.95 for their garbage can. Juneau stores don’t stock the type of cans Arrow Refuse proposes for the service.

In an order issued on Monday [PDF], the regulatory commission said it has not ruled on whether the monthly container fee is a non-regulated service, as Arrow argues it should be. The commission also said that with the fee, “the monthly rate charged to most residential customers will increase and [Alaska Pacific] will experience an overall increase in revenue.”

The commission set aside the company’s proposal for six months (until August 6th) and appointed Administrative Law Judge John P. Wood to oversee the proceedings. The state attorney general’s office was also invited to participate on behalf of Juneau residents. At this point, no public hearings have been scheduled.

Arrow Refuse had hoped to roll out the new service on April 1st.

The company originally filed a plan that included automated service, curbside recycling, and barging trash to the Lower 48 instead of dumping it at the local landfill. The RCA rejected that proposal, saying all the changes together would require a cost of service study.

Arrow has since abandoned the plan to barge trash south, and is reportedly close to an agreement with landfill operator Waste Management for a new 10-year tipping fee contract. At a meeting with the CBJ Assembly last month, Alaska Pacific Environmental Services Managing Partner Bobby Cox said the company still plans to offer curbside recycling for a separate fee from its garbage services. Cox told the assembly that the regulatory commission does not oversee recycling services.

Company officials did not return phone calls seeking comment on Tuesday.

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