Transfer sites

The Ester dumpster site will be closing Monday for upgrades. It joins several other waste transfer sites in the borough, like the Farmers Loop Road site, on which the borough has spent millions of dollars on upgrades. 

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward said he is thinking about whether to bring back attendants to keep watch over trash-dumping sites this summer.

Staff from the Solid Waste Division briefed the Borough Assembly on transfer site issues at a work session Thursday.

Illegal dumping, littering and aggressive dumpster diving continue to be problems, the assembly was told.

Multiple assembly members discussed boosting code enforcement. No decision on what to do about the transfer sites was made.

Solid waste employees walked the assembly through the recent history of transfer site management.

The borough started placing overseers at transfer sites as a trial program in 2017.

Results have been mixed, according to Grant Wright, solid waste environmental specialist.

The sites are reportedly cleaner and safer, but the borough received complaints about some of the attendants for such things as arriving late to open gates, sleeping on the job or acting too bossy.

The borough also received complaints about limited trash site hours.

“We had a lot of complaints about gate services with limited hours and late openings,” Wright told the assembly.

Assembly members asked questions about the rules at the transfer sites and the borough’s approach with enforcement.

Last year, the borough spent $300,000 on transfer site management, but the borough saves money on clean-up costs, hauling costs and staff time spent on dealing with transfer site issues, according to officials.

Solid Waste Manager Bob Jordan said that when people leave junked cars at transfer sites, it takes too much staff time to deal with it.

Junked cars are supposed to be brought to the borough landfill.

The number of junked cars left at transfer sites has gone down from 140 in 2017, when transfer site management started, to 39 last year, according to Jordan.

The borough operates 13 transfer sites for residents who live without government-sponsored, curbside trash service. 

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.