Dillingham fish bin sees heavy use this year, landfill considering other options
The fish bin at the Dillingham Landfill has seen heavy use this year. This can lead to a bit of a mess during the height of fishing season. Public Works Director Ken Morton said last year there was a spike in use of the bin, followed by a slower period. This year things decreased less after the spike. Morton said the landfill has been caught off guard some this season, leaving the bin full and creating a mess.
"It's a combination of things. Sometimes the bin gets full and sometimes it's not as sanitary as some people would like, so they may tend to leave some of their fish waste products in front of the bin instead of putting them inside, but it has been full."
The city has looked at several possible solutions to the mess. One was a fish grinder at the harbor.
"There was an effort last spring to come up with a design and a cost estimate for putting a fish grinder in, down at the harbor ,where after fish was ground it would be bumped out into the river. The prices for that installation came back greater than that there was funding for and that's where it stopped."
So, Morton said, the landfill considered a lower-cost option.
"What we wanted to do earlier this year was to move the fish bin inside the fence and limit its access to hours of operation and wrap it with an electric fence, but the landfill is closed for two days per week and we couldn't figure out a way for people to gain access during those two days so that plan failed, at least for this year."
Now they're considering a two-part solution, Morton said.
"One of the things that the landfill supervisor is contemplating is excavating a hole in a open cell such that when fish waste is brought in during the day people would place it into the hole in the ground there and then we would move the bin out for night-time use."
In the meantime, Morton asks that people do not leave totes or stack things in front of the fish bin. If it is full, he asks that people hold onto their fish waste until the bin is emptied.