Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Salvagers score at scrap metal drive


Residents salvaged hatchet and ax heads, bikes, shelving, roofing and a barbecue during a scrap metal recycling event sponsored by Haines Friends of Recycling Aug. 10-11.

Besides a tricycle for a three-year-old friend, HFR president Melissa Aronson kept nine drums from discarded washers and dryers she’s planning to use as raised garden beds.

“People were coming in and they’d look around and they’d leave with almost as much as they came with,” said Aronson. “It was interesting to watch it.”

The event filled two shipping containers full of scrap, including refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers. Aronson said the volume was impressive, considering that a collection drive of junked cars and scrap metal drive in spring filled a barge.

“That was huge. So we didn’t know what we were going to get. We’ll do scrap metal (collection) next year. We hope we can get a barge before then to handle the big stuff,” Aronson said.

As volunteers dismantled washers and dryers, they were surprised that many appeared to have only minor problems, she said, including bad timers and lint vents that needed vacuuming.

“A lot of them had simple repair issues and they ended up being recycled. There’s a job opportunity for somebody in this town who wants to do those kinds of things. It’s silly to spend money on things you don’t have to spend money for.” Aronson said.

Aronson said her group has previously discussed ways of recycling goods headed for the trash, and possibly making money for the group. “In our isolated area, with the shipping issues, we have to figure some of that out. There’s also an opportunity to make money. And it takes money to take stuff to the dump.”

The recycling event was free, except for large appliances. The sale of the scrap metal will make the event break even, she said. “The reason it works for us is we have completely volunteer labor. You couldn’t do it and pay people.”


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