Let's quit fighting and 'get our house in order'

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Juneau is a very amusing place. We watch the many factions of the community battle over whether there should be a road out of town, or a second bridge to Douglas, or a new pool or school. The projects to argue about seem limitless and rarely go away. The same battles are being repeated over the years.

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One cause that no one has championed is our dump. We had an incinerator. I was disappointed when I heard that it had been shut down. Since then, we have started scaring off the birds and all the emotions that revolve around killing gulls and ravens who are merely trying to make it through the winter by sneaking into the mother load of scavenger smorgasbords. We are frying eagles who try to swipe rotten deer heads. I never heard of these challenges when we had an incinerator.

We are told Juneau cannot afford the huge expenditure required to resume incinerating our prodigious waste. I look at the other proposed projects, the environmental studies, the legal challenges and rebuttals, proposed alternatives, etc. I see money. Money flowing into the project. Money flowing out to stop the project. Money flowing everywhere.

We should all quit fighting about a road out of Juneau, a second crossing or whatever. Let's take the money we are wasting fighting and "get our house in order."

Simply burying our garbage is no solution. Any windy day, you can look along Egan Drive and see the trees covered in trash blown out of the dump. Even now, in winter, you can detect an aroma as you drive by. Imagine the joy on the tour buses this summer. What about the rain that gets percolated through there? Where does it go?

There is no excuse for the capital of Alaska to be this backward. We are a town of 30,000-plus. How much waste do we generate in a day? What happens when we run out of room at the dump? Pile it higher and sell ski passes in the winter? Maybe we could build "affordable housing" on top of it. Wouldn't that be nice?

Perhaps, to create a more "Alaskan" feel to the capital, we should turn off the sewage treatment plant and start using honey buckets.

Allen Butner


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