Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Public Works stands out in state

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Thursday, November 20, 2008

MAT-SU– The Borough Public Works Department stood out in the state for its household hazardous waste program, earning an award of excellence from the Alaska Municipal League.

The operating cost for the hazardous waste program is $350,000. All funding is generated through user fees.

"The construction of this facility has allowed us to establish several programs that would otherwise be impossible given the Alaska environment," said Greg Goodale, Division Manager for Solid Waste. "We have a re-use program that returns useable materials to the public at no cost, such as paint, wood stain, and heating oil. The program also reduces our overall disposal costs."

Interiorhazwaste.jpg The new mechanism for transferring used oil is much more effective because it is located within a warm environment and will transfer far quicker when it is warm than at sub-freezing temperatures. Collecting paint in bulk is done efficiently due to an effective ventilation system. The facility was laid out with operating a forklift and pallet jack in mind. This makes moving the various materials within the facility far easier and safer than the previous operation.

The customer receiving area is set up to allow for the public to bring items into the facility without coming into contact with the processing area. It also makes for easy unloading of materials that come into the facility from the remote transfer stations. The processing area is large enough to easily categorize, package or treat materials for disposal or transport to another facility.

The 6,400-square foot facility cost $1.5 million to build and was paid for by grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and from the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Clean Water Loan Program.

For more information call Greg Goodale, Division Manager of Solid Waste at 746-2841.