Tribal group developing regional trash plant

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2001

KAKE (AP) -- Kake Tribal Corp. hopes to build a regional solid-waste incinerator on its land on Kupreanof Island northwest of Petersburg, corporation officials said.

The proposed waste-to-energy incinerator would be able to convert 100 tons of trash per day into energy for industries it hopes to attract.

Sam Jackson, president of Kake Tribal Corp., announced the plan while attending the Southeast Conference in Prince Rupert, British Columbia last week.

Southeast communities produce up to 135 tons of municipal trash per day and the Kake plant would need at least 60 tons per day to make the project feasible, said Duff Mitchell, Kake chief operating officer.

Juneau and Skagway incinerate their trash. But many Southeast communities barge their trash to Washington or Oregon and small villages continue to operate local dumps.

''They're already driving past Kake. It's just a matter of dropping it in Kake rather than driving on to Seattle,'' Mitchell said.

The tribe hopes to convert trash, de-watered fish waste and wood waste into steam to produce electricity. The ash would be turned into products such as roofing tiles and wall panels, officials said.

Kake Tribal Corp. also owns a timber operation, two seafood processing plants, a fuel facility, a hydroelectric utility, a construction company and a small tourism operation.

Observers note it might be difficult for the plant to beat current prices from larger waste processors and convince villages to pay more to dispose of their trash.

Bruce Jones, acting city manager of Petersburg, said he supports a regional facility. But smaller villages find barging trash to a central location expensive, he said.

Petersburg pays $85 per ton to haul its 4.2 tons of daily trash to Washington. Prices range from $65 to $105 per ton to ship Southeast trash to the Lower 48, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

''Barging villages' trash to Kake would be more expensive than what they're doing now - running dumps that don't comply with regulations,'' said Heather Stockard, manager of the state Department of Environmental Conservation solid waste program.

The corporation has not applied for an air permit with the state DEC, a spokesman said.

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