By Katherine Rose
Radio station KCAW Sitka 

Sitka also faces deadline for safely shipping trash aboard barges


Photo from a Republic Services presentation to the City and Borough of Sitka

Sitka, like Wrangell, faces a deadline to stop shipping its trash out of town in open-top containers. The last time a Sitka garbage container caught fire was 2016 (above), while a Wrangell load ignited in the fall of 2020 as the barge was in Ketchikan. The request for safer practices is coming from Alaska Marine Lines and Republic Services, which hauls the trash under contract for both communities.

Sitka, just as Wrangell, has been told that open-top trash containers are a fire risk aboard barges and cannot be used to send the community's garbage south.

The Sitka borough assembly last week heard about the reasons and options for the policy change from the city's solid-waste contractor, but the city is pushing back on paying the bill.

Last fall, Alaska Marine Lines announced it would start refusing shipments of solid waste in open containers as of June 1. Switching to closed containers and fully compacting the trash would require a significant investment in new equipment that could ...

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