AD Main Menu

Photos: Reducing waste at the Alaska State Fair

Rae DeLey gathers plastic bottles and other recyclable items from cans on the fairgrounds. More than 200 volunteers pitch in to run the Alaska State Fair Recycling Center. The effort, now in its 13th year, diverted 15 tons of material from the waste stream in 2013, according to Valley Community for Recycling Solutions. Photographed on Friday, August 29, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Gloves hang at the sorting station for recyclable items at the Alaska State Fair. More than 200 volunteers pitch in to run the Alaska State Fair Recycling Center. The effort, now in its 13th year, diverted 15 tons of material from the waste stream in 2013, according to Valley Community for Recycling Solutions. Photographed on Friday, August 29, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Anita Humphries and Richard Clinch sort items at the Alaska State Fair Recycling Center. More than 200 volunteers pitch in to run the Alaska State Fair Recycling Center. The effort, now in its 13th year, diverted 15 tons of material from the waste stream in 2013, according to Valley Community for Recycling Solutions. Photographed on Friday, August 29, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Recycling supervisor David Johnson hauls aluminum cans to prepare for transporting them from the fairgrounds. More than 200 volunteers pitch in to run the Alaska State Fair Recycling Center. The effort, now in its 13th year, diverted 15 tons of material from the waste stream in 2013, according to Valley Community for Recycling Solutions. Photographed on Friday, August 29, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Rae DeLey, a volunteer from Unity Church of Anchorage, wheels recyclable items from the fairground to the sorting station nearby. More than 200 volunteers pitch in to run the Alaska State Fair Recycling Center. The effort, now in its 13th year, diverted 15 tons of material from the waste stream in 2013, according to Valley Community for Recycling Solutions. Photographed on Friday, August 29, 2014.
Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News
Marc Lester

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.