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Residents comment on Salcha Transfer Site maintenance closure

 The Salcha Transfer Site will be closed from July 14th to August 18th for major renovations. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF).
The Salcha Transfer Site will be closed from July 14th to August 18th for major renovations. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF). (KTVF)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 5:59 PM AKDT
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Earlier this week, the Fairbanks North Star Borough announced they are closing the Salcha Transfer Site at 8121 Richardson Highway. Salcha residents wish the transfer site closures in the area were handled differently.

Previously, residents along the Richardson Highway near Salcha had three transfer sites to choose from, 30-mile, Salcha, and Midway.

As part of consolidation efforts, the borough closed the 30-mile transfer site in January. Salcha resident Katie Ramsey says she is a single mom and the 30-mile site was extremely convenient.

“That's part of why I chose my house because on the way to work, on the way to town, this transfer site was right here. But when it closed down, I either had the choice of going to the other one in Salcha, which I never go that way ever unless I'm going to Delta, or the one in Moose Creek. Even that one is a bit out of the way too, because with the three of us we accumulate trash pretty quickly," said Ramsey.

Salcha resident William Carey-Thomann says community members wish the 30-mile site could be open while the Salcha transfer site is renovated.

"It wasn't something that was just sprung upon, this is something that the borough's known about, but yet they still closed a perfectly good transfer site a couple miles down the road. As a community we all believe that it should have been kept open until the improvements here were done," said Carey-Thomann

Bob Jordan, solid waste manager with the Fairbanks North Star Borough, responded to the resident's concerns.

"Just trying to look at the overall efficiency of the entire transfer site system. A series of three different sites down in that area is a stop for the contractors, a stop for the borough's employees and so forth. Yes unfortunately... when you have a construction project it makes it hard on the area users, but the end product is going to be much better and I think they will be pleased once they see it reopened,” said Jordan.

Jordan says the borough appreciates the residents' patience, "during the time that the site is closed and being improved. We would ask those users if they have a smaller few bags of trash, that kind of a waste stream, they can use the Moose Creek Transfer site but even better yet, or if they have any larger bulky loads to take it in to the North Pole or to the Badger Road transfer site."

However, Carey-Thomann says Salcha community members do not often travel to North Pole and will have to make an extra trip to bring their trash.

"Overall we're happy that there's going to be an improvement at this transfer site but the way the borough dealt with it was just not logical," said Carey-Thomann.

After the Salcha renovations are complete, there will be a larger renovated transfer site for the area residents. The Salcha Transfer Site will reopen on August 19.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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