Something's rotten in Lemon Creek

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2009

Ben Brown's Wednesday column, "Time to reduce the landfill stench," apparently struck a lot of sensitive nerves and noses. By the end of the day it received more than 60 online comments - some of them odiferous in their own right - but covering a wide range of perspectives. Most of them agree with Ben that not only is our dump a public nuisance but a community embarrassment.

Proposed solutions include more recycling, garbage incineration, a regional landfill to assist other Southeast communities and the use of methane from the landfill to generate electricity. But options are limited by the fact the landfill is owned and operated by the national corporation, Waste Management Inc.

Voluntary recycling feels good, but it doesn't make much of a dent in the problem. We've reduced our waste to half a can per week by composting most organics and recycling everything else we can, but it's too inconvenient for most families. Mandatory curbside recycling could probably help, but like other solutions, it will be expensive.

The city has studied these questions and will present an update on solid waste planning efforts at an upcoming Department of Environmental Conservation public information workshop on Juneau landfill odor issues from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Hall.

If you think something's rotten in Lemon Creek, come share your views.

Steve Behnke


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