City council establishes volunteer group to assist Dillingham landfill

Feb 14, 2019

The Friends of the Landfill could help coordinate volunteers for recycling projects and to help maintain facilities.

People who are interested in volunteering to be Friends of the Landfill can submit a letter of interest to the Dillingham city clerk.
Credit Avery Lill/KDLG

The Dillingham City Council formed a Friends of the Landfill group at their meeting last week. The group could facilitate volunteer participation in some of the landfill services, such as fish waste disposal, composting, recycling, maintaining the grounds, and securing the facility from wildlife.

The idea for the group was Paul Liedberg's before he finished his term on the Dillingham City Council last year. He spoke in support of the resolution as a resident at this month’s meeting.

“I think there is an opportunity for citizens to be involved, and I think it would be up to the manager and the public works director on how this group would interface with the landfill and the city staff,” Liedberg told the council. “I would hope…that you would also consider people [to be members] who would be outside of the city limits if there is interest.”

The resolution to form the group passed unanimously.

There’s already a history of volunteers assisting with waste disposal in and around Dillingham. Last summer, Liedberg led a group of civically minded residents in changing the way Dillingham dumps its fish waste. The fish bin used to be situated outside the landfill. Volunteers cleared a spot for it inside the landfill gate and set up an electric fence as a perimeter. 

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the number of bear incidents around town this summer also decreased, indicating that the dumpster was a success.

Liedberg anticipates that the Friends of the Landfill could tackle programs that would reduce the influx of solid waste.

“Other communities have found some ways to back haul [metal] out. That would be great,” said Liedberg. “We’ve had a program in the past to recycle electronics, and there’s an opportunity there for members to be involved to volunteer to help that process and continue that. There’s certainly ways that we can reduce what we use in the community that ends up in the landfill. It’s just a matter of brainstorming and providing information to people.”

The Friends of the Landfill will be made up of 5 to 11 residents, and they will volunteer in projects determined appropriate by the City of Dillingham Public Works Director.

The resolution to form the Friends of the Landfill passed unanimously.  The Dillingham City clerk is accepting letters of interest. A simple email stating that you’re interested in being a part of the group can be sent to cityclerk@dillinghamak.us.
 

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.