It’s been almost a year since the topic of composting biosolids has made it to a Kodiak City Council agenda, but work has been well underway to make it a reality. The design for the new composting facility is at 95 percent, and City Manager Aimee Kniaziowksi said they are getting ready to submit the design to the the Alaska Department of Enviornmental Conservation for permitting.
“That’s the next step and once we’re issued a permit then we can begin the process of building this facility and migrating over. We’re currently doing compost class B on the borough landfill at the top of the current landfill pile, so we’ll migrate that to the new facility once it’s been designed and ready.”
The goal is to eventually produce a higher quality class A compost at the new facility.
Mark Kozak is the public works director for the city and said a meeting was held with folks from the Monashka Bay community about a year ago to talk about preliminary plans for the composting facility.
“Because they’re the nearest neighbor to this potential site. We took their public input and then we started the design. And now we’re at the point where the design is ready to be submitted to DEC to start the permit process. And what we want to do is visit with the public again, let them see the design and ask their questions, so that they know when we submit our permit, what the facility is like, how the process is managed and handled and then we can hear and get feedback from them now if there’s anything they have concerns about.” Continue reading
It was the beginning of the end for the landfill expansion project last night. The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly approved a handful of contracts for Phase III of the project during its regular meeting, in addition to passing an ordinance related to the landfill’s budget. Phase III of the project will construct the leachate treatment plant facility and is the final phase of the lateral expansion project.
First up on the agenda in terms of the landfill was a public hearing on an ordinance that amended the project’s budget to include a $3.3 million loan from the Alaska Clean Water Fund. Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said the loan is needed in order to complete the construction of the wastewater treatment plant.
“As you know the first round of bids came in too high. We made some modifications to the bid specs that went out again and these new beds came in closer to the engineers estimate. This ordinance also identifies that the total project cost for the landfill has risen from the $28,820,288 that you approved to roughly and approximately $32 million.” Continue reading
Come November Kodiak will have a new district manager for Alaska Waste. After three and a half years in Kodiak, current Manager Rick Vahl has decided to take a new job in Mammoth Lakes, California.
Vahl came to Kodiak right as the borough decided to switch to the controversial roll cart method of collecting trash. Vahl said he worked with roll carts in Anchorage prior to coming to Kodiak, but quickly realized it would be a different experience implementing them in a small town.
“It was difficult because I stepped into a situation where I thought roll carts made sense, it was the most convenient thing. In Anchorage where I was working it was more standardized allowing people to have the same size cart with attached lids. So it was a difficult challenge because it was so new to a community. And because it was a mandatory service, you had the controversial approach, you’re forcing people. So that was probably the most difficult thing. I don’t think it was more of the presentation how the contract worked out.”
Vahl said he still thinks roll carts are a good idea for Kodiak because it sets guidelines and expectations for being responsible with garbage.
“There are lots of ways to pick up garbage. And that’s what we’re good at as a company is picking up and transferring the garbage to a safe landfill spot. The roll carts just kind of provide the infrastructure to have a relationship with each customer and know that if someone is having a difficult challenge with it you can work one on one. And if I were to just compare it to our drop sites where we have roll offs, you don’t know who’s going there, when they’re going there, so it’s real difficult to have a connection with the community and really make sure that we don’t have the engine oil dropped off inside or the paint, or the doors are closed because bears are coming around.” Continue reading
Things are seemingly moving ahead in a land transfer between the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and City Council. Last night the two governing bodies discussed the matter during the assembly’s work session, specifically as it pertains to compost.
The city hopes to build a better quality Class A composting facility on 2.36 acres of borough land, south of the landfill. Lesser quality Class B compost is already being made at the landfill. The compost would be made using biosolids, which have gone through the wastewater treatment plant and city staff stressed are very different from raw sewage.
It’s no secret that composting has come under quite a bit of scrutiny, which is why City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski and other city representatives took a trip to Washington and Idaho and toured four composting facilities. Kniaziowski said the trip provided valuable insight to places that have been composting for decades, and what similar operations could look like in Kodiak. She said a facility in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was the group’s favorite, and best resembled what they wanted Kodiak’s to look like in terms of operations. Continue reading
The Kodiak City Council will meet for a regular meeting tonight, but not at the regular time. The meeting, which is normally held at 7:30 p.m., will be held at 6 p.m. so council members can make it to the Borough Assembly’s work session at 7:30 p.m.
The city will make a case to the borough assembly for a land transfer out by the landfill, where the city hopes to start making the better quality Class A compost. A lesser quality Class B compost is currently being made at the landfill. The city manager, some staff members and two council members recently returned from a trip to Washington and Idaho where they toured a handful of composting facilities similar to what Kodiak hopes to build. The site the city wants to build a composting facility on, however, is owned by the borough.
This will be the city’s second attempt at a land transfer with the borough for composting purposes. A few months ago the borough assembly voted against a similar land transfer because neighbors to the property weren’t given the same information that was included in the ordinance and the city didn’t have the necessary permits for the area.
Once again tonight’s city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the borough assembly chambers. Following that the borough assembly will hold a work session in the borough conference room at 7:30 p.m.