Dillingham community members team up to recycle electronic waste at the landfill

Sep 3, 2021

At least a dozen volunteers showed up to pack computers, microwaves, copiers and more. The pallets were stuffed into two storage containers and sent to Tacoma, Washington to be recycled and repurposed. 

Credit Courtesy of Paul Liedberg

 

 

Community members in Dillingham recycled 31 pallets of electronic waste at the landfill in August. 

Credit Courtesy of Paul Liedberg

At least a dozen volunteers showed up to pack computers, microwaves, copiers and more. The pallets were stuffed into two storage containers and sent to Tacoma, Washington to be recycled and repurposed. 

The effort was led by the “Friends of the Landfill,” a coalition dedicated to maintaining the Dillingham landfill. 

Paul Liedberg is the chairman of the coalition. 

“The less we put into the landfill, the longer it will last," he said. "Really that’s what saves us money in the community. Landfill expenses are significant because there’s a lot that goes into managing a landfill. The more we can divert from the landfill the better.”

The city has continued its efforts to recycle electronic waste at the landfill for almost 15 years. Liedberg estimates that they process an average of a container’s worth of waste every year.

Credit Courtesy of Paul Liedberg

The coalition received financial support from the Curyung Tribal Council, which has assisted with these efforts in the past, like in 2019 when the groups shipped out two containers. This year, the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation also helped ship the containers. 

Still, Liedberg ponders how much longer they can financially support the program.

“Because of that help in the past there isn’t a charge for residents or organizations to drop their electronics off at the landfill," Liedberg said. "But it really is uncertain in the future where the funding will come from or if we’ll be able to continue this. But I hope we’ll be able to.”

Since 2019, the coalition has recycled four containers of electronics.

There are other ways people can help reduce waste in Dillingham.

Aluminum cans - specifically cans made from aluminum - can be taken to the Senior Center where volunteers crush them to be recycled. This program is a minor source of revenue for the City. The proceeds go to recycling projects and landfill expenses. They expect to ship a full container of cans in spring.

If you are someone who is interested in joining the Friends of the Landfill, there are currently two seats open to the public. To send a letter of interest, contact the City of Dillingham for more information.

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