There is no safe way to discard hazardous wastes in rural Alaska, and backhauling is expensive and logistically difficult. Backhaul Alaska solves this problem by coordinating the removal of hazardous waste from rural Alaska communities to Lower-48 destinations where it can be safely discarded or recycled. It builds local community capacity to safely handle the waste via training, supply provision, and regional assistance. The program will begin with community-generated wastes, and slowly expand to become a waste service for agencies, individuals, and corporations doing business in rural Alaska. A well-coordinated statewide backhaul program will reduce risks to health and the environment, stretch rural Alaska’s limited dollar, and protect subsistence resources.
The Solid Waste Alaska Task Force developed and oversees Backhaul Alaska. It is a multi-partner collaboration that we operate as an independent program. Zender Environmental Health, a SWAT member organization, is currently the primary administrator. For details, visit the Backhaul Alaska website at backhaulalaska.org. A brochure on the program may be accessed here.