More than 200 volunteers and a few staff employees operate the Alaska State Fair Recycling Center in a lot on the fairgrounds in Palmer. Green barrels are placed next to trash bins throughout the fairgrounds in an effort to divert recyclable items from the waste stream. Volunteers then collect and cart the contents of those barrels to a sorting station in a nearby parking lot. There, loads are prepared for hauling to Palmer's Valley Community for Recycling Solutions.
Although numbers are still being compiled this year, VCRS volunteer coordinator Carole Henry says she expects they will be similar to last year's. In 2013, the recycling effort diverted 15 tons of material from the landfill, including 12 tons of corrugated cardboard, one ton of plastic bottles and jugs, one ton of mixed paper, and 748 pounds of aluminum cans.
Fair recycling supervisor David Johnson says BP is the primary sponsor of the effort. Volunteers come for various Anchorage and Mat-Su service organizations, such as church groups, Rotary, and Junior ROTC students, he says.