The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has given Juneau’s garbage collection company the go-ahead to implement a new automated roll cart service. But the RCA has not yet approved a monthly container fee for specially designed trash cans.
The RCA on Friday issued an order saying Alaska Pacific Environmental Services, which owns Arrow Refuse, could roll out the new service while commissioners investigate the monthly container fee issue. Alaska Pacific says customers need to use a specially designed trash bin, with a gravity locking lid, in order for the service to be fully automated, and comply with City and Borough of Juneau garbage ordinances.
Alaska Pacific had argued the container fee was a non-regulated service, not subject to review by the RCA. But the commission says that’s a matter for it to decide. The RCA plans to hold hearings in the case, and issue a decision by mid-September.
Alaska Pacific Environmental Services hasn’t said when it plans to introduce the new system. A spokesman for the company said it would release a statement this afternoon or tomorrow.
In the meantime, Alaska Pacific has agreed to cap the monthly fee at $2.95 for a 96-gallon container, and $2.75 for a 48-gallon container. Under the plan, rates for garbage collection in Juneau will initially go down for some customers, and up slightly for others.
In its order, the RCA also granted Alaska Pacific extra time to make the case for a permanent rate for the new service. The company will undertake a cost of service study in 2013 and must file for a new rate by mid-September 2014.
- Bans on plastic grocery bags have been cropping up across Alaska’s remote communities. Cordova’s ban went into effect last year. But so far, the larger cities in the state have yet to adopt one.
- Things are not looking good for Haines’ Alaska State Trooper post. Trooper Director Col. James Cockrell intends to reassign Haines’ one trooper position to Bethel. The decision isn’t final yet, but the community conversation about how to handle the loss continued at a Public Safety Commission meeting this week.
- A new study from a Alaskan epidemiologist looks at infants who were exposed to opiates before birth. Unlike previous studies, it goes beyond the sharp rise in cases for a portion of the population to explore what happens next.
- Commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska have survived two years of state budget cuts but not without some changes. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries has cut some positions, ended some monitoring programs, and found some new funding sources.