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

Survey: Landfill important to residents


Preliminary results of a survey intended to gauge community behaviors and attitudes toward garbage, recycling and composting seem to indicate many Haines residents don’t believe there is a solid waste problem in need of solving.

Haines Borough Assembly member Debra Schnabel, who is conducting the survey, discussed preliminary results at a commerce committee meeting Monday.

Schnabel, who maintains the borough’s current three-company system creates an unnecessarily competitive and “fractured” market, asked survey respondents whether they believe there is a problem with how the borough manages its solid waste.

About 38 percent of respondents had no opinion, 29 percent thought there isn’t a problem and 33 percent thought there was.

The survey was sent out to 213 randomly-selected post office box holders in Haines.

Schnabel has only received about 75 responses so far, but is hoping to have at least 170 before officially analyzing the results.

According to the preliminary results, 68 percent of people wouldn’t support establishing a tax in order to pay for consolidated service with mandatory pick-up. About 25 percent said they would support implementing a sales tax, while 7 percent said they would support a property tax to pay for the service.

Given the choice between the two options, 9 percent said they would choose to have a tax, while 91 percent said they would rather see a base rate and user fees for the service.

Schnabel said one of the things that interested her most so far is that 51 percent of respondents said it is “very important” to have a landfill in Haines, with 27 percent classifying it as “important.”

Community Waste Solutions consultant Burl Sheldon also spoke at Monday’s meeting, pitching what he referred to as an “incredibly progressive” method for waste disposal that CWS has been working on.

Sheldon would not disclose a dollar amount for how much mandatory service would cost the average resident due to the “aggressively competitive nature of Haines’ waste business.” 


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