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Waste in Rural Alaska

Rural landfills are often not connected by road to a larger landfill or are more than 50 miles by road from a larger landfill. They serve fewer than 1,500 people. These facilities are classified as Class III landfills.

Many challenges must be overcome to ensure environmentally sound and cost effective management of these rural landfills. Each community is assigned one of our Rural Landfill Specialists. This person is the community's contact for permitting, inspections, and general assistance to improve their solid waste management practices. They are your one-stop-shop for solid waste assistance and questions.

Find Your Community's Rural Landfill Specialist

Landfill Permits and Renewals

State law requires all landfills to be permitted by the Solid Waste Program. If your landfill permit has expired or is about to expire, please contact your Rural Specialist for information on how to get it renewed. If you don't have a copy of the permit, your Specialist can provide one or you can look at our SWIMS database online to download a copy of it.

Funding is an important reason to keep your landfill permitted. If you are seeking funding to improve your landfill, already permitted landfills will rank higher in the scoring process than an unpermitted one. Also, organizations that provide grants or loans for rural projects require a permitted landfill to dispose of the project's waste.

Fact Sheets and Forms for Rural Landfills

Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste

Disposal of C&D waste in an unpermitted landfill is legal and can result in enforcement action by DEC against the diposer. However, even in a permitted landfill, the incorrect disposal of C&D waste in rural communities can cause many problems, such as:

  • Waste takes up a large amount of landfill space.
  • The hazardous waste is not backhauled.
  • The community is not paid for the disposal, either in money or in-kind services.
  • Unused materials are left in the community that may be unwanted.

Rural landfills are not required to accept C&D waste, even from projects that benefit the community. Waste disposal options should be discussed with the contracting agency when a project is being planned so that disposal is addressed in the contract and bid documents.

For more information on disposing of C&D waste in rural communities, see: