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Download Files:   Water Quality Report: September, 2012 Compliance Plan
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Happening Now

Haines Landfill:

The CWS landfill and Waste Processing Facility is located at the south end of FAA Rd in Haines.  The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation regulates the facility as a Class-III landfill. 2012 was a busy and productive year for the facility.  In late 2011, CWS began efforts to aggressively address a number of important compliance issues. In the year between October of 2011 and October of 2012, CWS facilities saw a 30% improvement in its ADEC Inspection score.


The CWS waste management system maximizes local employment and adds value where ever possible.  With our full-service composting and recycling system—and minimizing the amount that must be landfilled—many negative environmental influences caused by waste production are lessened.   While there is still work to do, here is what’s new:


  • New landfill operator: Mike Dorris was hired in November of 2011. Since then, Mike has significantly cleaned up the facility and adjoining property and re-organizing the operational structure.  Since Mike joined CWS, the number of animal attractant issues has significantly decreased- an indication of effective waste management strategies and proper treatment.  Mike is an important new addition. In 2012, over 100 tons of metals and 50 tons of garbage (160 cubic yards) were removed from the landfill and exported. An additional 80 cubic yards of wind-blown and animal-carried litter were hand collected and removed from adjoining Haines Borough property.

  • Minimal Landfill Disposal:Only C&D (Construction and Demolition), glass and carefully screened inert waste—with no potential for leachate production— is allowed to be deposited in the landfill. All electronic waste, white waste, household waste and mixed waste is shipped out- NOT buried or burned.  All putrescible (food) waste is composted and CWS pulls out recyclable plastics from the waste stream where possible. Organic waste and food waste is being diverted through composting while recyclables are being diverted through CWS' new SSR program.

  • Composting: CWS owns the largest in-vessel composters in Alaska and because our digesters are insulated, we are able to compost up to 15 tons at a time even throughout the cold winter months. CWS began composting waste in 2002.  In 2012, we revised our systems with oversight by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to produce “Exceptional Quality” compost (as defined by EPA). To create EQ compost, CWS is uses a feedstock of food waste from Oleruds, Haines Senior Center, H.A.L and other customers, pressed biosolids, cardboard, wood chips and shredded paper.  We look forward to a future when compost will be made available to the public.

  • Water Quality Testing: Summer 2012 Water Quality Monitoring Report (See "Water Quality Report" link on top of this page)- The water leaving Haines' landfill violates no Alaska Water Quality Standards.

  • Drainage Improvement: During summer and fall, 2012, major structural changes were made to reduce water migration on to and through the property.  These changes are described in detail in the “Landfill Compliance Plan” available at the top of the page. The water leaving the Haines Landfill violates no Alaska Water Quality Standard.

  • Redirecting Waste:  We provide Single Stream Recycling (SSR) and composting at a discounted rate compared to traditional mixed waste. When possible we re-direct materials from the mixed waste (export) stream to our SSR recycling stream.

  • Reducing Bear Attractants: CWS is now working with the Chilkoot Bear Foundation and Alaska Department of Fish and Game to address bear attraction issues at the Haines landfill. Through composting, and revised landfill practices, bear attraction has significantly decreased, but has not stopped all together. In order to completely eliminate this issue, CWS and its partners will be installing an electric fence before July 1, 2013.

  • Landfill Cover: The work completed in November, 2012 included burial of the current “active” face of Construction and Demolition and inert materials. We also covered the northeastern area of the landfill in summer, 2012. Remainders of the old landfill property will be covered and graded in 2013 and 2014, after the remaining metals are removed, as outlined in the 2012 Compliance Plan (top of page). 

Now, CWS is implementing sustainable waste management practices that can provide year round, cost-effective solutions for the waste produced within the entire Haines borough. By implementing composting and recycling programs, CWS can greatly soften the negative economic impacts on those that produce waste while also reducing and eliminating many negative environmental influences as well. With community support and collaboration, CWS firmly believes that we have only begun to scratch the surface of waste management possibilities within the borough of Haines.

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