Doing business in the construction and demolition waste removal and recycling recovery in the northernmost state of Alaska requires a very different way of thinking and operating than in the lower forty eight states.
While Alaska may be a geographically large area, it’s also a very small business market with many populations and municipalities separated by hundreds of miles. With the winter season lasting considerably longer, and creating almost impassable travel conditions, transportation of waste materials and recyclables needs to be structured differently. Also, processing operations are often hundreds of miles away.
Due to the state’s limited system of major highways, some businesses transport C&D materials by plane to be processed in Anchorage and other businesses choose to utilize barges when the waters aren’t frozen over. This results in stockpiling waste materials for weeks or months at a time as well as incurring transportation costs that can be as high as one dollar per pound.
However, due to greater awareness, more businesses are now factoring in the cost of recovery and recycling materials instead of choose to simply dump them in on the open tundra – a practice that was commonplace for many decades.
It is expected that consumer demand for Green building certification on new residential and commercial construction, which requires contractors to recycle a particular percentage of their waste materials and debris, to drive the change in recycling and reuse behavior.