Valley trail users push back against landfill expansion plans
Trash has to go somewhere but some valley residents aren’t happy with where the Matanuska-Susitna Borough plans to put it.
Lori Jo Oswald said her happy place is the Crevasse Moraine Trail near her Palmer home. But she fears her favorite outdoor sanctuary is doomed.
“We don’t have very many trails like this left,” Oswald said.
The Crevasse Moraine Trail System is located in an area the Mat-Su borough set aside in the 1980s for the local landfill to expand.
Solid Waste Division manager, Butch Shapiro, said the borough is taking steps to expand the dump.
“Right now, we are looking at cell four. This is our next cell that we will actually extract material for,” Shapiro said.
He says the landfill expansion likely won’t reach the trail system for more than 25 years, but he said the reality is that 97 percent of the valley’s waste ends up at the landfill. The best thing residents can do to keep the trails intact is recycle, he said. The less waste in the landfill, the longer it will take the expansion project to reach the trail system.
“It’s on an individual basis that we can make the most impact,” Shapiro said.
But trail users like Oswald want to do more. She plans to fight to make sure losing her favorite trails isn’t an option.
“I don’t consider that they belong to the Mat-Su borough’s Solid Waste Division. I think they belong to the community and that this is wrong,” Oswald said.
People who wish to voice their opinions will get their chance at a public hearing on April 4 at the Mat-Su borough Assembly chambers.
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