Snow or no snow, the community clean-up is on.
Bags for collecting rubbish and recyclables from public areas around town became available Monday at the Chamber of Commerce office in the Gateway Building on Main Street. Beginning April 27 and through May 11, they’ll be accepted without charge at the Community Waste Solutions landfill on FAA Road.
The effort is sponsored by CWS, Chilkoot Indian Association, Haines Borough and the Haines Chamber of Commerce.
Passes for single-stream recycling at CWS will be awarded to the three individuals collecting the most bags of trash. Non-profit groups earn $3 per bag and are eligible for additional cash prizes if they’re among the top three in total bags collected. The school class turning in the most bags wins a trip to Skagway on the fast ferry, including a day at Klondike Gold Fields tour concession to pan for gold and go dog-sledding.
Robert Butker, marketing director for CWS, said the company previously offered dump passes to the biggest trash collectors but is offering recycling passes as part of efforts to emphasize its recycling program. “We’re trying to recycle as much as the stuff that’s brought in as possible, so we’re offering recycling passes to keep that theme up.”
CWS also will offer to take all junk tires for free. People can bring tires from their back yards, Butker said. The company is incorporating tires into the design of a drainage ditch they’re using to redirect a stream there away from trash. “We could use a few more. That, and there’s a lot of junk tires sitting all over town,” he said.
The landfill will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, including Sunday, during the rubbish drive.
Last year, Takshanuk Watershed Council brought thousands of pounds of junk, including washing machines, old refrigerators and tires from in and along local waterways. “It was overwhelming for us. We weren’t expecting to get that amount. You’d be amazed at the things they pulled out from those close-to-the road areas,” Butker said.
A more concerted effort between the TWC and the CIA this year includes a $500 donation to offset some of costs of disposal.
A collection facility will be stationed at the Haines Schol April 27-28 and May 11 for classes to collect items on the weekend. “They’ll be able to drop bags right at the high school. We’ll be keeping a tally.”
Butker said the effort to target students is also to educate them about what and what isn’t recyclable. “There’s a lot of recyclables that are being thrown away, especially in this community. We’re trying to show how easy it is.”
CWS started offering single-stream recycling in February. The company has sent out 13 tons of combined recyclables under the program, which charges 22 cents per pound to accept mixed recyclables.
“If you do it right, you can normally recycle about 80 percent of what you throw away,” includes Ziplock bags, shrink wrap, bottle caps and some certain grades of plastic bags, Butker said.
Classes can go to hainesgoesgreen.com to get details about the competition.