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About the Program
It is a real opportunity to establish a pilot program for integrated waste management in the Metlakatla Indian Community . This two-year, $550,000 grant from the EPA opens the door to creative solutions for handling solid waste, improving our home, health, and quality of life of all those that learn from the project.
Currently, waste management for Annette Island includes a truck that hauls mixed solid waste to the municipal dump. We now have the opportunity to develop a recycling, composting, and waste minimizing program. We can plan for appropriate disposal of municipal waste and establish a hazardous materials emergency response process. Most types of waste are involved. The community offers EPA the opportunity to support a successful pilot program; to build information that could be readily transferable to other villages in Alaska and tribes in remote areas-a model program.
What does the Program involve?
Planning: Public meetings, community surveys, and interviews. The Community's input is essential in developing a successful program. It has to fit the Annette Island life style. No plan would work without the acceptance of those who are most affected.
Public Outreach: Development of educational programs for citizens, school children, businesses.
Process: Community input will define the process used throughout the Program. The process should be simple, easy, user-friendly and, most of all, flexible.
Participation: The Community should be actively involved in every step throughout the planning and process development. Keeping the Community informed will be key to keeping them involved and participating. Fact sheets like this will be available and distributed on a regular basis. Many of the articles in the local town paper will review the development of the program.
How do we begin?
We begin by talking the citizens of Metlakatla, to find out what is wanted. For instance, would you participate in a recycling program? If so, would you separate your own trash? Or, if a hazardous waste dumping station were available, would you bring in your old paint, oil, or batteries?
Once you communicate your ideas and level of interest, then the next step is to decide how to take action on those ideas.
Tracking progress and setting goals
To "benchmark" our progress, we need to take a good look at where we are now. Initially, we will be collecting information about how trash and other wastes are taken care of. From there, we will map out action plans that will take us to the Community's goals.
What are we starting with?
To establish a starting point, we have proposed ordinances that establish the base of the process. We documented the location of disposal sites on the Island. We inventoried the underground storage, and above ground storage tanks of the Community. We have inventoried the hazardous material storage and use areas, and drafted another section for Emergancy Responce Plan that will cover hazmat.
more to come...