Large construction site is Solid Waste Services’ new transfer station

Anchorage's new transfer station is coming right along.
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:10 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Maybe you’ve seen it? A big building going up off the New Seward Highway near the Dowling exit. That building is the city’s new transfer station for Solid Waste Services and it’s moving right along.

Workers broke ground on the new transfer station in July 2020, with a completion date scheduled for the spring of 2023. The facility will replace the current transfer station where most of the city’s garbage goes now.

Solid Waste Services Engineering and Planning Manager Mike Rhodes said 80% of the trash from Anchorage, Eagle River and Girdwood lands in the transfer station before being hauled to the landfill in Eagle River. The aging facility, built in the 1970s is no longer able to keep up.

“We’ve basically outlived the capacity of the trash that we generate,” Rhodes said.

That’s why the utility embarked on a $120 million state of the art transfer station on a 27-acre parcel right across the street. The site will include new offices for the service, as well as a new facility for hazardous waste drop-off. Rhodes said the entire complex is designed to make things easier for customers, including nearly double the number of bays where residents can drop off their trash.

“One of the biggest complaints about our existing site is wait times, especially on the residential side,” he said. “If you ever come here on a Saturday, you could be waiting for up to an hour. And one of the main goals for this facility is getting customers in and out at a much more efficient rate.”

Rhodes said another advantage of the new site is what it will allow them to do with the old. Solid Waste Services hopes to rent the current transfer station to a third party so it can become a recycling center. Rhodes said increasing recycling in the city will allow them to divert items from the quickly filling landfill.

“Anchorage has a diversion rate of about 7%. We have a goal of increasing that up to 20%,” he said. “So this will help to push that along and increase the space available for diversion, not only for SWS but for the public and commercial customers as well.”

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