I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who attended the recent public meeting regarding the proposed solid waste transfer, recycling and composting facility, as well as to all of you who have participated in this process and offered comments as this project has been discussed and developed.
As we move forward, I encourage anyone with interest in this project to attend the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) meetings, to ask questions and submit comments.
Suggestions, such as including a cold storage building or Quonset hut near the salvage areas allowing people to “shop” and recycle items back into the community, are features of the facility that had not yet been considered and make the project more valuable for everyone.
I would also like to take this opportunity to make one correction to a statement I made during the public meeting.
I incorrectly presented the projected cost of future repairs to the incinerator at an estimated $10 million. I misunderstood the fact that this figure was considered to be a potential cost if the municipality were to construct an incinerator today, not the cost of repairs.
In communicating with Public Works since the meeting and reviewing various price estimates for component renewals and upgrades to the current incinerator, I now have a more accurate price range for future maintenance.
Those projected costs being anywhere from $75,000 at the very optimistic end of the spectrum, to the 2012 estimate of $876,600 to replace the four major components of the incinerator. It should also be noted this higher cost does not include the costs associated with the removal and disposal of the existing equipment, the cost of potentially needing to ship waste out for an extended period of time while the facility is not in service or cost escalation from when the estimate was prepared.
The bottom line is, the cost of doing nothing is not zero and by all projections the new facility will be more affordable operationally in the long term. Especially when considering the cost/ton of incinerating 1 ton of waste is roughly $350 compared to the recent quote Public Works received of $167/ton to ship it out.
Not to mention the benefit of providing access to recycling and composting options to this community.
Thank you all once again for your participation and support of this project and the SWAC will be sure to publicly post the 35 percent project design when it is complete.
Cory Thole • Skagway