Juneau's Capitol Disposal Landfill in June 2013. Members of the City and Borough of Juneau’s Public Works and Facilities Committee have a plan to address concerns about the long-term viability of Juneau’s landfill and  of complaints about odors in the Lemon Creek area. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Tackling the trash

City eyes zero waste plan

Think twice before tossing that garbage.

With concerns about the long-term viability of Juneau’s landfill and cognizant of complaints about odors in the Lemon Creek area, the City and Borough of Juneau’s Public Works and Facilities Committee members have a plan to improve the situation.

The plan contains short-term, mid-term and long-term suggestions.

In the coming months, the CBJ Assembly’s Committee of the Whole will review the suggestions and weigh in on the request for the assembly to support a zero waste plan and a composting pilot project.

“We are an isolated community with a highly complex solid waste stream,” said Assembly member Michelle Bonnet Hale, committee chair, at Monday afternoon’s meeting.

Assembly member to seek reelection

The short-term suggestion is to meet with representatives from Waste Management, the private company that owns and operates the Capitol Disposal Landfill near Lemon Creek, to discuss odor control measures.

The second two suggestions look to reduce the city’s waste stream.

In the mid-term, the plan calls for introducing an ordinance to appropriate $50,000 for CBJ to partner with the private sector on a composting pilot program to create an additional supply of compost and grow local composting capacity.

City officials discuss odor at Lemon Creek-area dump

Zero waste plan

The longer-term plan calls for the city to develop and implement a zero waste plan.

“Zero waste is the term used to describe an approach to waste management that minimizes waste generation and maximizes resource recovery. While zero waste is the goal, it is generally acknowledged that waste will not be completely eliminated but rather could be reduced by (more than ) 90%,” reads a memo on the topic that will be shared with the CBJ Assembly.

According to the materials shared in the meeting, once this type of plan is in place, the focus is on source reduction through work with businesses to produce or use products that can be reused, composted or recycled. Zero waste plans also call for developing community infrastructure for recycling, composting, repair and reuse of various materials.

The committee acknowledged that creating a zero waste plan will require time, cooperation, and effort to bring to fruition and are looking to the model used for the Visitor Industry Task Force as a way for the discussion to unfold.

“Zero waste is a change in how the community deals with waste and requires a joint effort. The Visitor Industry Task Force is a great model for complex problem solving where multiple jurisdictions and community values intersect,” reads the memo that will be shared with city assembly members.

The memo asks the assembly to appropriate $100,000 during the 2023 capital budget process and establish a solid waste task force to tackle the issue.

Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of July 3

Here’s what to expect this week.

Mia Halloway (6) grabs a cotton candy with her dad in Savikko Park. A long string of kids stood in line to grab a cotton candy from the Twhrly Whrliy Cotton Candy stand on a bright and sunny Fourth of July afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Fun and sun mark holiday in Douglas

Hot dogs and panting pups present for festivities.

Rachel Hurst hands her son Benjamin, 4, a beach ball to throw to the crowd from the Hawaiian-themed Juneau Urgent Care float during the July 4 parade in downtown Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau, the state of the union is festive

Melting pot of states, cultures and colors join in healthy unity for July 4 parade in unique times.

A Coast Guard aircrew and a Good Samaritan vessel rescued four mariners after their boat capsized in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, July 1, 2022. (Courtesy photo / USCG)
Good Samaritans rescue 4 after boat capsizes

The boat sank in Glacier Bay National Park.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, July 5, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

t
Police calls for Saturday, July 2, 2022

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Larisa Bishop Boros
This photo available under a Creative Commons license shows a male silver-haired bat captured in Ozark National Scenic Riverways in 2010. A bat found in Douglas tested positive for rabies, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced.
Bat found in Douglas tests positive for rabies

No report of rabies exposure to people, according to Department of Fish and Game.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, July 1, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Road to Majority conference Friday, June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. A rally planned to include Trump is scheduled to happen in Anchorage on July 9.  (AP Photo / Mark Humphrey File)
Trump to rally for Palin, Dunleavy, Tshibaka in Anchorage

Former President Donald Trump plans to attend a rally in Alaska next week.

Most Read