SUN AND SNOW – Snow evaporates off the roof of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Thursday. More late season snow mixed with rain  is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Sunny weather is in the forecast for the first part of next week. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Task Force Winds Up With Limits Unsolved
12 Apr 2024 15:31

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Sitka Tourism Task Force reviewed a number of recomme [ ... ]

World Flyers Made Sitka Stop 100 Years Ago
12 Apr 2024 15:29

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Almost exactly a century ago, the engines of four modi [ ... ]

California Salmon Fishing Canceled for Second Year
12 Apr 2024 15:24

By RACHEL BECKER
Alaska Beacon
    In a devastating blow to California’s fishing industry, federa [ ... ]

Gov Claims Poll Backs His Education Policies
12 Apr 2024 15:22

By CLAIRE STREMPLE
Alaska Beacon
    Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said a poll shows there is strong su [ ... ]

House Rejects Making State PFD Guaranteed
12 Apr 2024 15:20

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    The Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a long-a [ ... ]

Arctic Center at UAA Broadens Its Mission
12 Apr 2024 14:37

By YERETH ROSEN
Alaska Beacon
When the federal government established an Arctic Domain Awareness Cente [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Police Blotter
12 Apr 2024 14:01

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 11
At 2:14 a.m. a report was logged t [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Community Happenings
12 Apr 2024 13:56

Card of Thanks
Dear Sitka, I would like to say thank you for the outpouring of love and support for t [ ... ]

Southeast Music Fest Opens with Festive Air
11 Apr 2024 15:49

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
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Changes Made To Improve Recycling at Center
11 Apr 2024 14:11

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Recent changes in the collection of recyclable materia [ ... ]

Sitka Softballers Sweep All Rivals in Tourney
11 Apr 2024 14:10

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Opening the softball season strong at a tournament in  [ ... ]

House Adds, Subtracts In Amending Budget
11 Apr 2024 14:06

By JAMES BROOKS
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    The Alaska House of Representatives has voted to provide state fu [ ... ]

SalmonState Criticizes AIDEA’s Loan Program
11 Apr 2024 14:05

By JAMES BROOKS
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Despite Quakes, Alaska Building Codes Shaky
11 Apr 2024 14:04

By YERETH ROSEN
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Sixty years after North America’s most powerful earthquake on record r [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Police Blotter
11 Apr 2024 13:44

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 10
A dog was reported running loose i [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Community Happenings
11 Apr 2024 13:38

Big Rig Event
Set Saturday
For All Ages
All types of vehicles, food and activities are planned for the  [ ... ]

Home Health Receives Boost from Assembly
10 Apr 2024 15:08

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
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Assembly to Question 2 Attorneys on Zoom
10 Apr 2024 14:23

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
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Sitka Housing Summit Seeks Public Participation
10 Apr 2024 14:22

By Sentinel Staff
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Horan to Race Boston Marathon for Charity
10 Apr 2024 14:21

By GARLAND KENNEDY
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    Years after running cross country and track at Sitka  [ ... ]

High School Music Fest Starts Thursday in Sitka
10 Apr 2024 14:18

By Sentinel Staff
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Wolves Sweep Opening Series
10 Apr 2024 14:17

KODIAK OPENER - The five seniors of Sitka High’s softball team pose for a shot after playing in  [ ... ]

City League VB Tournament
10 Apr 2024 14:14

By Sentinel Staff
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House Seeks to Narrow Gap in Funding Budget
10 Apr 2024 13:19

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    As the Alaska House of Representatives opened debate on the state [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

City Handing Recycling to Private Firm

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    The city has turned the operation of all of its recycling operations to a private firm in a deal that officials say will save the city money, reduce liability and create incentives for improving efficiency.

Chris “Cricket” Jackson, with the city’s recycling program, points to the metal baler at the city scrap yard this morning. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)


    Public Works Director Michael Harmon said this is a prime opportunity to create a private-public partnership, and there may be others in the future.
    “There’s a general goal by the administrator to look throughout the city – we’re looking for possibilities for private-public partnerships to reduce costs and produce efficiencies,” he said.
    City Administrator Mark Gorman said he’s looking forward to seeing savings and improved efficiency with this new contract.
    “I think the opportunity to become more efficient with tax dollars is increased, the more we look at partnerships with the private sector,” he said.
    Alaska Pacific Environmental Services is the company that presently collects curbside garbage and runs the Jarvis Street transfer station. Under the new contract, APES will also run the recycling center on the old incinerator property, and the scrapyard at the Gary Paxton Industrial Park.
    At the recycling center, residents drop off recyclables sorted into separate bins for plastic, newspaper, cardboard, mixed paper, aluminum, glass and tin cans. The items, other than glass, are shipped south for recycling, with the proceeds going toward shipping costs. At the scrapyard, fees are charged for disposing of old cars, refrigerators and other “white goods,” tires, scrap metal and car batteries. Those items are also shipped south for recycling.
    Under the new contract, the city will receive credit for the commodities that are sold, as it has in the past. The contractor will then receive a check from the city for half of the cash equivalent of the credit. APES will keep 100 percent of any sales derived from high-grade sorting, above and beyond what the city typically does, Harmon said.
    “What will APES bring to the table?” Harmon asked. “We’re predicting at current (recyclables) prices, we’ll save $6,500 a month – that’s about $78,000 a year, depending on commodity prices. Plus they’re really motivated to do improved sorting, and they have ideas of how to run it better. The better they do it, the more money they’re going to make.”
    This is different from a city-run recycling center and scrapyard, where bonuses weren’t offered for improved sorting.
    Harmon said the timing was right, with the departure of the scrapyard supervisor. As staff turnover continues at city hall, the city will review whether it makes sense to create a public-private partnership, he said.
    He said not every city department is right for a private-public relationship.
    “It’s a puzzle – it’s challenging,” Harmon said. “Certain things fit well with a private public partnership, in particular things that generate their own revenue, things that can be run as their own business.”
    That includes enterprise funds, such as solid waste, the electric department and water department. City services such as police, fire and the library do not.
    “This is a good one – we’re looking at the low-hanging fruit,” Harmon said.
    He said in a memo to Gorman that the customer base will not see much change, but APES will be doing some “efficiency and high grade sorting changes to increase revenue.”
    The CBS will lease the property and will retain ownership of all the equipment, although this may change when the APES contract expires in April 2015.
    The city will continue to own the equipment, but APES will operate and take on all the liability of operating the equipment. The contractor will hire the present city employees (one full-time and one part-time), with pay and benefits commensurate with the city’s, Harmon said in his note to Gorman.
    Harmon gave credit in his email to Gary Baugher, city maintenance and operations superintendent, for “pulling all the challenging pieces together.”
    “I think Gary delivered on this point very well and I am pleased that we are projected to see a reduction in expenses as well. Great work!”
    Harmon said he’s pleased with the prospects for the new partnership, which he hopes will save the city money, eliminate the city labor within the solid waste fund, and increase recycling and revenues in the city.

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20 YEARS AGO

April 2004

Photo caption: Grace Larson holds one of the Easter breads she baked for sale at the annual Rainy Day Bazaar Saturday at Centennial Hall. Hundreds turned out for the event, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Spouses and Women’s Association.

50 YEARS AGO

April 1974

All youngsters from walking age on up to age 12 are invited to an Easter egg hunt Sunday. Ages 5 and under meet at the Centennial Building; ages 6-9 in front of the visitor center at Totem Park; and ages 10-12 at Totem Park. Some $150 in cash and merchandise prizes will be offered.

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