Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in Alaska
Americans and Alaskans produce approximately 5 pounds of waste per day. That’s a lot of waste piling up in our landfills! Plus, waste costs money. We pay for our waste to be collected, transported and disposed of at the landfill. Landfills take a lot of resources to be properly managed. This takes money from consumers, businesses, and everyone in Alaska. There are things we can all do to reduce our impact to the environment and conserve Alaska’s natural and economic resources.
The more waste we produce – the faster landfills fill up. Construction of new landfills costs millions of dollars and require extensive planning! In addition to construction costs, finding land is another problem. Very few people want a landfill close by. This is known as the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) problem, and this is a Lower 48 issue that has now reached Alaska. Strict location requirements are in place to protect our lands and as Alaska’s population increases in the future, everyone can make a positive difference by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Reducing waste helps us extend the life of our landfills and limit our impact on the environment.
Gustavus Recycling Center
The 3 R's
There are many small and large things you can do to reduce your waste. Use a reusable water bottle instead of bottled water. Shop with reusable shopping bags to replace plastic bags. Bring your own coffee mug to the coffee shop. The list goes on and on.
Reuse is the new New
Reusing products is becoming mainstream across the country. This can be anything from shopping at second-hand stores to reusing that glass food jar to store other items. Shop for used furniture instead of new. Take your old items to the thrift store instead of the landfill. Using products more than once can save you money and reduces resources to produce new ones.
Recycling is going strong
Recycling has been in Alaska for decades and is steadily gaining momentum. Recycling locations have increased. Residents are more aware of their environmental impact and the importance of recycling. Most communities throughout the state have some form of recycling programs. If your community is not listed below, check with your local organizations to find your recycling options.
Resources for Recycling
- Alaskans for Litter Prevention & Recycling (ALPAR) Flying Cans Program
- Anchorage Municipality
- Denali Borough
- Fairbanks and Interior Communities
- Kenai Peninsula Borough
- Kodiak Island Borough
- Mat-Su Valley Recycling
- Central Recycling Services Metals and construction and demolition (C&D) materials
- Schnitzer Steel 907-349-4833 Metals and construction and demolition (C&D) materials
- Total Reclaim Electronics, batteries, appliances/HVAC, bulbs/lamps, and more
Fish Net Recycling
Haines Recycling Center
Baled Aluminum Cans at Mat-Su Recycling Center
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the News
Fish Net Recycling in Alaska
- Net Recycling Gets a Boost in Dillingham (KLDG)
- Southeast Alaska Tackles Fishing Net Recycling (Arctic Sounder)
Plastic Bag Bans are a Hot Topic across the State
- The Anchorage Bag Ban is Coming: Here's What You Need to Know (Alaska Public Media)
- IGA to Drop Plastic Bags in 2020 - Delta Junction (Delta Wind)
- Voters to Consider Plastic Bag Ban this Fall - Sitka (KCWA)
- Haines Borough Assembly Passes Plastic Bag Ban (KHNS)
- Homer City Council puts Bag Ban Question to Voters on October 2019 Ballot (Homer News)
- Palmer Businesses, Customers adjust following Bag Ban (Frontiersman)
- City of Wasilla Plastic Bag Ban (City of Wasilla)
- Single-use Plastic Bag Ban takes effect in Unalaska (Alaska Public Media)
- City of Soldotna Disposable Shopping Bag (City of Soldotna)
- Ban on Single Use Plastic Shopping Bags (City of Kodiak)
- Plastic Bag Ban Begins October 1, 2016 - Cordova (Cordova Times)
- Fred Meyer to Phase out single-use Plastic Bags (Alaska Public Media)