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Construction and Demolition Waste in Rural Alaska

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste in rural communities can be created in large quantities from the construction, demolition, or renovation of community or commercial facilities and water and sewer systems. Disposal of C&D waste can be difficult in rural Alaska where a permitted landfill may not be available, the landfill does not accept C&D waste, or the landfill lacks adequate space to accommodate the volume of waste for disposal.

The contractor that generates C&D waste is responsible for ensuring that it is properly disposed in a permitted landfill. Disposal of C&D waste in an unpermitted landfill is illegal and can result in enforcement action by ADEC against the generator. However, even in a permitted landfill, improper disposal of C&D waste in rural communities can cause many problems, such as:

  • The waste takes up a large amount of landfill space and shortens the life of the landfill.
  • The community is not compensated for the disposal, either in fees or in-kind services.
  • Hazardous materials are not backhauled.
  • Unused, but unwanted materials are left in the community.

Rural landfills are not required to accept C&D waste, even from projects that benefit the community such as water/sewer projects or housing improvement projects. Waste disposal options should be discussed with the contracting agency when a community project is being planned so that the disposal requirements for the project are appropriately addressed in the contract and bid documents. To avoid shortening the life of the landfill, rural communities should consider requiring alternative disposal options for C&D waste.

If you are a contractor, please review our Letter to Contractors for C&D Waste in Rural Alaska (PDF)