New, bear-proof roll carts are replacing an older generation of trash bins in some neighborhoods in Kodiak this week. Alaska Waste is supplying the new carts free of charge, as a part of their renewed waste hauling contract, which begins July 1. The bear-resistant bins have a special latch in the lid to prevent easy opening, whereas the older bin design has a lid that opens freely.
Not all homes will be getting new carts, however. In anticipation of bear season, some streets on the edges of town will no longer receive street pickup. This is to prevent problem bears from frequenting peoples’ trash bins and getting comfortable in town.
“Hillside Dr., Sharatin and Selief will all be losing their roll carts. And now they’ll just have to self haul to the roll off containers and put the trash in there,” said Dave Edwards, Alaska Waste Site Manager in Kodiak.
Edwards says the plan is to move everybody who will still receive street pickup to bear-resistant carts by July 1. And instead of offering multiple sizes, the new carts will come in the 95-gallon size for all residents.
Edwards says this type of cart is already being used on the mainland. The design is certified bear-resistant by bear conservation groups in the U.S. and Canada.
“The company actually has to go through testing. They have a bunch of Kodiak brown bears and a bunch of other grizzly bears and they put food inside of there. And they have the bears try to beat them open and they have to be bear resistant for at least an hour,” said Edwards.
Edwards says currently, Kodiak residents’ monthly trash pickup fees average $60-73. Under the new contract, residents will be charged a flat rate, and he says, most people should see their bill go down.
“The cost is associated with the tonnage fee in the landfill. Until the borough comes up with their budget, we can’t give them like 100 percent estimate of how much it will be for residents,” he said, adding, “Most residents will see a reduce in their monthly bill.”
The borough assembly voted last spring to award a solid waste removal contract to Alaska Waste. The contract is in place through 2027.
Cart-swapping will begin on Wednesday with about 170 homes to start.