Roll out the barrel

Curbside recycling kicks off in Juneau with delivery of new trash, recycling cans

Sen. Dennis Egan gave Mayor Bruce Botelho the can. A 96-gallon blue-topped recycling can to be specific, to kick off what the above dignitaries said at a Monday press conference at the mayor’s home on Douglas was a 20-plus-year dream to bring curbside recycling to Juneau.


“This is a long time coming,” Botelho said.

Arrow Refuse, owned by Alaska Pacific Environmental Services, demonstrated one of its three new automated refuse collection services at event. The truck used is recognizable but with a grabber arm that is extended from the driver’s side. Pulled up next to a curbside recycle can, blue lid or a black-lidded standard refuse can, the arm grabs the can and chugs it.

During the presentation, the truck’s powerful arm buckled the can a bit. Arrow Refuse’s Robert Thorstenson said the injection-molded plastic is resilient and returns to its shape.

“Especially as it warms on a sunny day,” Thorstenson said.

Arrow began delivery of its 96-gallon recycle carts Monday and plans its first pickup June 5 or 6. A card on their cart will tell customers the date, Thorstenson said.

The service costs $3.11 per month.

Arrow picks up its customers co-mingled recycling every other week and the days are offset from garbage pick up.

Customers can mix cardboard, paper, aluminum, tin, steel, plastics No. 1 - No. 7 and phone books. No glass or hardbound books will be taken. By comparison, the City and Borough of Juneau’s self-separated recycle center at Waste Management’s facility in Lemon Creek will accept glass, but only accepts plastics No. 1 and No. 2. The city’s service costs all Juneau residents $1.25 on their utility bills.

Barring coming up with a creative re-use, Thorstenson said Arrow may offer a pickup service for customer’s old trash cans.

“A one-time go around in about a month,” Thorstenson said.

Apartment and condominium dwellers may have a couple options in the future, Arrow’s Jeff Reilly said. Those might be commercial recycling, so an apartment owner or condominium association could sign up for service, Reilly said. Also, Arrow already offers a black-lidded refuse can in a 48-gallon size. Reilly said. The cans are expected to last at least 10 years, he said.

“I’ve got carts that have been in Fairbanks for 12 years,” Reilly said. “And they’re plastic, so water isn’t going to affect them.”

Arrow ordered 10,000 carts, Reilly said.

Mayor Botelho said the 96-gallon can fits his larger family well. Sen. Egan said he could eventually opt for a smaller can.

Lupita Botelho said between recycling and composting, the family produces very little trash.

The narrow alleys and steep roads of the core downtown Juneau area is not conducive to automated recycling or refuse pick up. Arrow customers in the blue zone will receive semi-automated service and billed as such.

For more information about curbside recycling visit, or To find out what zone you live in visit

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at


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