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City, GHS work on recycling solutions

Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2001

Gastineau Human Services and the city are working on a proposal to revive recycled paper pickup services in Juneau.

Misdemeanor offenders who needed to perform community work service hours picked up white paper and newsprint from Juneau offices until April, when Gastineau Human Services discontinued the program because of a lack of workers.

Gastineau is putting together a proposal for a community work service Day Reporting Center that could provide a consistent source of labor for recycling and other community programs, GHS Operations Director Andy Swanston said. Instead of reporting to individual organizations, misdemeanants would go to GHS first for assignments and supervision, he said.

The center could provide a consistent source of community service workers for recycling efforts, the Southeast Alaska Food Bank, Junk Busters, the Juneau Senior Center, St. Vincent de Paul's and other programs, Swanston said.

"It's a good effort between us and the city. Everybody wins," he said. "Nonprofit and government agencies have relied on these workers and it's an efficient way to provide them."

The center might also be used to coordinate community work service for state misdemeanor offenders, Swanston said. The city offenders are sentenced to between 6,000 and 7,000 community work service hours a year. The state sentences misdemeanants in Juneau to approximately 10,000 hours a year, he said.

City Manager Dave Palmer said he would try to make sure money is in the budget to cover the program.

"At the latest, we should have things wrapped up by the end of June, possibly sooner," he said.

The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club had worked with GHS on the recycling pickup program for the past 10 years, averaging between 550 and 600 tons of paper a year, recycling chairman Bob Hungerford said. The club tried to find another organization to take over the program but wasn't successful, he said.

"A lot of people would like to keep (the program) going," he said. "The goal all along was to revive it somehow. If it can be done through GHS, that's great."

Meanwhile, Capitol Disposal accepts newsprint, cardboard, tin cans, aluminum cans and glass on Wednesdays and Saturdays from residential consumers. The Lemon Creek landfill is trying to figure out a way to take white office paper, Waste Management of Alaska District Manager Glen Thompson said.

This week, the landfill shipped out almost 30,000 pounds of cardboard and newsprint, he said.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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