The Haines Solid Waste Working Group is still trying to figure out if there is a better way for the municipality to deal with trash.
At its latest meeting, the group heard from the owner of the private company Community Waste Solutions. Tom Hall is in charge of the only waste disposal option in town. Last year, CWS became a monopoly when it bought out its competitor, ACME Transfer.
Hall gave an overview of where the company is today and where it’s headed. He said they’ve recently invested in new equipment that should improve their ability to compost and recycle.
And, a new baling system would minimize the amount of space waste takes up in the landfill.
Hall said there needs to be borough support for the waste disposal company. In his opinion, that could go a couple different ways.
“One decision has to be made on these two things,” said Hall. “Either you develop a long-term contract with us, tell us what you want done, and participate and help us make it happen as a company. Or, the community buys CWS facility and equipment.”
The solid waste group is considering the borough taking over garbage management as one option.
The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Sandra Woods called into the meeting. She’s in charge of regulating the Haines landfill.
Group member Burl Sheldon asked Woods about the life expectancy of the landfill. She said CWS has used half of the space, and they’ve recently opened up another area, increasing the capacity.
In recent inspections, Woods said the landfill has gotten a high score.
She said she’d like to see private companies and municipalities work together more on waste-related issues.
“When I get a complaint I work with whoever I need to work with to make sure that complaint is resolved or come up with a solution to it,” said Woods. “But I wouldn’t mind seeing the city and the organization come together and work on it together instead of at odds all the time.”
At its next meeting the committee plans to take a closer look at an idea laid out by Sheldon for a self-haul disposal system based on transfer stations. The proposal would give more options to people dropping off their trash. That meeting is Thursday, July 13 at 4 p.m.