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Minimize Spring Flooding Impacts

My Trash is Ruined! - A Tale of Garbage, Floods, and Loss

All joking aside, prior to breakup there are some precautions to take to lessen the impact to or from your solid waste or recycling program in the event of a flood. These are listed on a sliding scale as not all communities have the same options.

If your landfill is already located on high ground and most of your materials are staged there, you only need to focus on materials that are still within the floodplain.

Best Battery Storage in Covered Container on High Ground

#4 Best: Battery Storage in Covered Containers on High Ground

  1. Remove any materials staged for backhaul from the barge landing and:
    • Good: Secure using banding or cargo straps and store away from the river.
    • Better: Store them in a building or connex box that is secured to the ground.
    • Best: Move them to high ground.
  2. Secure any loose items that will easily float, such as freezers, refrigerators, etc. if they are stored in the flood plain and:
    • Good: Store inside the landfill and close the gate.
    • Best: Move to high ground.
  3. Ensure that all liquids, chemicals, containers, and drums containing hazardous substances including fuels, oils, antifreeze, and any other liquids are:
    • Good: Properly labeled and have leak-proof secured lids in place.
    • Better: Stored with leak-proof lids inside a building or secured connex.
    • Best: Moved to high ground.
  4. Secure and relocate any lead-acid batteries:
    • Good: In a tote with a lid secured in place.
    • Better: In a tote with a secured lid in a connex or building.
    • Best: In a secured and covered container or tote and moved to higher ground.
  5. Lock and secure any connex or other containers that may contain collected recycling such as aluminum cans or plastic bottles. This can be done by:
    • Good: Using a cargo strap on the doors and securely staking the connex into the ground.
    • Better: Chaining the connex to a large heavy object such as a piece of heavy equipment.
    • Best: Moving the connex to higher ground.
  6. If possible, cover all disposed wastes at the landfill with cover material. Covered waste is less likely to wash out of the landfill in the event of a flood.
    • Good: Consolidate waste and use what cover material is available.
    • Best: Consolidate waste and cover with at least 6 inches of material.
  7. Close and secure the landfill gate and any other open points to the landfill. This may help contain wastes within the landfill boundary during a flood.
    • Good: Use a temporary fence such as snow or silt fencing to close up landfill.
    • Better: Use a chain-link swing gate that reaches the ground to close up landfill.
    • Best: Use a chain-link swing gate that reaches the ground to close up landfill. Also fill in any gaps between the ground and the fence line to fully enclose the landfill.
Locked Landfill Gate

#7 Best: Locked Landfill Gate that Reaches the Ground

If you have any questions regarding these recommendations, or would like to discuss what your community could do in the event of a flood, please contact your Rural Landfill Specialist.

In order to remain informed of changes to the breakup predictions, the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center maintains a map of current flooding information.

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