Backhaul Alaska Initiative
Alaskan Rural Communities Landfill Backhaul Program
Because of their remote and isolated nature, Alaska’s small rural communities use unlined landfills and burn wastes without emissions treatment. There is no safe way to discard hazardous wastes in rural Alaska, and backhauling is expensive and logistically difficult. This results in potential health and environmental problems, which is why Backhaul Alaska was created, with the first phase kicking off in the summer of 2018. The program has completed a pilot phase 1, and is currently is pilot phase 2 with Old Harbor, Ouzinkie, Port Lions, and Larsen Bay participating. The long-term goal is to slowly expand to become a waste service for agencies, individuals, and corporations doing business in rural Alaska.
Inventories are continuously updated, which include hazardous waste from community electronics, lead acid batteries, and fluorescent light bulbs, and will be backhauled out of pilot 2 communities in the Fall of 2021. Backhauling these three categories of hazardous waste keeps the most hazardous materials out of the landfill. KANA’s role in this statewide program is to assist in the hazardous waste inventories, staging, and logistics. KANA has developed a “Backhaul Best Practices” guide for the Kodiak region and is currently working on Conex container purchases for each of the communities for the safe storage.