Free dump day draws a crowd
Anchorage Landfill superintendent Jim Brown thinks it’s a good idea for the public to be able to see where their trash goes.
“I think for a lot of people it’s an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ thing,” Brown said during a recent ride-along tour of the muni’s sprawling facility off Hiland Road.
Hundreds of people got an opportunity for a rare up close and personal view of the landfill May 4 for one of two “Free Dump Days,” offered this year. During the events, the public is able to dump trash for free, as well as access the main landfill. A second event is planned for Saturday, May 11.
The municipality has been offering free dump days for years, but this year’s event is the first time folks have been allowed to drive onto the roughly 260-acre facility.
“This year they are getting the opportunity to see the whole operation,” said Brown, a 30-year employee of the landfill.
The free dumping days are offered as a way for the municipality to pitch in as part of the annual spring clean-up going on around town.
“It gives people a chance to get cleaned up from the wintertime,” Brown said. “Get ready for summer.”
The free dump days coincide with the Anchorage Chamber’s annual Citywide Clean-up, which is going on through May 11. For more information on the chamber’s event, call 272-2401 or visit citywidecleanup.org.
Brown said he’s personally a big fan of the traditional community event, which each year removes tons of trash from alongside Anchorage and Chugiak-Eagle River roads.
“I know myself I really appreciate after it’s done and you drive down the highway and it’s a night and day difference,” he said.
Brown said turnout at the first free dump day was good, and he’s expecting even more people to show up at the landfill off Hiland Road this Saturday.
“I anticipate seeing a lot more,” he said.
Brown said people were well-behaved and easygoing during last weekend’s event.
“It went really good,” he said. “I think it went well for the people taking advantage of it, and they got to see a great operation.”
Just about any kind of household trash will be accepted at the landfill, although large appliances cost $25 each to dump. Additionally, Brown said all hazardous materials must be declared when arriving at the dump to ensure they’re disposed of properly.
Although this year’s first free dump day was conducted in snowy conditions, this Saturday’s weather is forecast to be sunny. Brown said that will likely mean a busy day for his crews. Fortunately, most of the orange-clad municipal employees have years of experience dealing with dumping, he said.
“Most of our people out here have been doing this for a number of years,” he said.
For more information on the Anchorage Landfill’s Free Dump Days — or to download an informational flyer about the event May 11 event — visit http://www.muni.org/departments/sws/pages/default.aspx.