The Haines Solid Waste Working Group is narrowing down its goals for a new system of trash disposal. They have one major objective right now: keep it simple.
Group members Burl Sheldon and Melissa Aronson drafted a list of goals based on ongoing conversations about what they want to see in a new waste plan. The group has been meeting since late last year.
The objectives center on a couple big things. For one, they want to set up transfer stations in different areas of the borough. That would mean residents would have more options for where and when they dispose of trash.
Another proposal aims at curbing littering around Haines. Illegal dumping, including litter, household trash and even appliances is an ongoing problem.
“We would set up some collection areas that would have kind of a four-bin system,” said Aronson. “There would be one for litter. Out of your car kind of stuff, not household garbage. One for glass, one for aluminum, and one for number one plastic, which is primarily what you’d get, which is water bottles.”
Aronson says these bins would be placed in different areas around town.
“These four-bin systems would be in a variety of different places where people would naturally be taking litter out of their car, maybe getting rid of soda cans and plastic bottles, and glass,” said Aronson.
The group also got into how they would want the borough to pay for the new system. Ideas include sales taxes, costs for disposal, and tariffs.
But that’s when Borough Manager Debra Schnabel asked them to take a step back.
“I would like to suggest that you try to deal with the larger concepts and not allow yourself to get arguing about even whether it’s free or not free,” said Schnabel. “Because what’s really – in my movie what’s going to happen is you’re going to come forward with a proposal that’s going to be a conceptual thing.”
Darsie Culbeck chairs the group. He agreed, it’s important to keep the plan simple at this point.
“Remember we’ve been talking about this for a year, or some people 25 years or however long,” said Culbeck. “It’s political, it’s going to be hard to move through and we need to keep it as simple as we possibly can.”
Some of the other objectives include providing community education of waste and recycling and developing a composting system.
At its next meeting, the working group is planning to meet with Petersburg’s public works director to hear more about how waste disposal works there.