The Southeast Alaska Regional Solid Waste Authority (SEASWA), consisting of eight communities, will resume scrap metal recycling as early as April 2018. SEASWA will work with Waste Management, Inc. to collect and transfer the material.
As of now, the agreement with Waste Management is just for one collection, but SEASWA is in talks with the company to establish an ongoing program to remove metal from communities.
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Petersburg Public Works Director Karl Hagerman said old cars, broken construction equipment and other scrap metal has been piling up for several years.
Hagerman said prices have been low, so it would have cost more to ship scrap metal south than could be recovered by selling it for recycling. He said the price was $175 a ton last summer, but could be up to $230 a ton later this spring.
“That’s the value in Seattle, not in Petersburg, Alaska. So, the trick is transportation and the cost of getting that metal to market,” he said.
The solid waste authority reached a scrap metal recycling agreement with another company about four years ago. But it fell through. Wrangell has had a large amount of scrap metal barged off through a separate agreement.