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Anchorage to break ground on new $114 million transfer station to extend life of city landfill

  • Author: Aubrey Wieber
  • Updated: July 8, 2020
  • Published July 8, 2020

Garbage is moved and loaded into a trailer at the Anchorage Solid Waste Services central transfer station on May 29, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Anchorage is beginning work on a new, upgraded spot where residents can drop off trash to be taken to the landfill.

On Thursday, the Municipality of Anchorage will break ground on a new central transfer station, giving the city more space to handle various waste materials and recycling, and adding 20 years to the life of the landfill.

The project is expected to cost around $114 million, funded by user fees. Solid Waste Services is proposing an annual 5% increase for residential and commercial collections and a 6.25% increase for disposal at the transfer station through 2022. Those increases are subject to approval by the Assembly.

The city expects the project to be complete in 2023, though Solid Waste Services General Manager Mark Spafford said he will push to finish in 2022.

The current transfer station, located at East 54th Avenue off the Old Seward Highway, is crowded, Spafford said.

It was originally built in 1975, and in recent years has had to be closed for maintenance and repairs.

By building a new transfer station across the street, the old site can handle recycled and composted material, as well as things like tires and mattresses.

Spafford said it would not be possible to modify the current transfer station to fit those needs.

“You can only put so much on this campus,” he said.

With the ability to divert more of those materials from the landfill, it will add an estimated 20 years of life to the 32-year-old landfill. According to Solid Waste Services, without the new station, the landfill would hit its capacity in 45 years.

The new station will also allow for more separation between residential and commercial customers, making it safer.

Spafford said one of the biggest complaints from the public is long wait times at the current transfer station.

“With a larger facility, we will be able to get people in and out quicker,” he said.

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