Litter and landfill are focus of Chamber speech

    Laurie Sica, President of Litter Free, Inc.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Litter Free, Inc. explained the efforts they are making to keep Juneau clean.

    President Laurie Sica said the group started in 1995.  They have held community cleanups since 1916. 

    "Our one mission is keeping Juneau clean and litter-free.  It is not political.  Everyone can hate trash and everybody can feel good about cleaning up."

    They have picked up 2.2 million tons of trash since they started keeping records in 1996. 

    Waste Management accepts all the waste free of charge.

    Sica said a lot of Juneau businesses support them financially.  Some even donate trucks, drivers and workers to help pick up the trash.

    "We'd like businesses to form their own work teams, I think it will be fun to challenge each other and get out there as a group as employees," she added.

    Sica said covering loads when going to the landfill will definitely help clean up the community.

    They meet at 12 noon on March 11 at the Mendenhall Valley Library.

    John Logan runs the Youth Litter Patrol.  Kids form groups to clean up a certain property and receive recyclable bags from Litter free.  Most of the work is done on weekends.  "It is really inspiring to see them out there cranking away."

    Litter Free pays the kids and adults $10 per hour.  The lions share of revenue comes from business and individual donations.  They have between 20 and 30 kids group participate each year. 

    "It provides funding for local youth organizations, helps keep Juneau clean and teaches kids the importance of not littering and recycling.  It is a win, win, win."

    The Waste Management Recycle Center is open from Tuesday to Saturday.

    All recycled material is bailed and sent to the recycling center in Tacoma, Washington.

    Alaska Waste provides curbside recycling.  They collect every two weeks.  They also use the recycling center.

    They also have a household hazardous waste drop off at 5436 Commercial Blvd.  The CBJ is building a new facility at the landfill to accommodate hazardous waste.  It should be open in 2021.

    Recycling is at a 25 year low in the US. 

    The life span of the landfill is 20 years at the current volumes.  The tonnages are very flat and consistent at 30,000 tons each year.

    About five percent of the total waste stream at the landfill came from the cruise ship industry last year, about 1,500 tons.   

    The U.S. Forest Service also has a problem with illegal dumping in outlying areas.

    A community cleanup is scheduled in Juneau on Saturday, April 25.  More details are available at www.litterfree.org

    The next Chamber lunch will be in conjunction with the Juneau Economic Development Council Innovation Summit at Centennial Hall.  A panel of speakers will discuss the topic, Business in a Changing Climate. 

    The speakers include Anthony Mallott, President and CEO of Sealaska Corporation, Stephanie Madson, Executive Director of the At-Sea Processors Association, Dan Kirkwood, General Manager of Pack Creek Bear Tours, Zakary Kirkpatrick, Chief Marketing Officer of Allen Marine, and Tiffany Stephens, Chief Scientist and Research Director of Seagrove.

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