Although crews are working to repair damage at the Anchorage Regional Landfill near Eagle River following the Nov. 30 earthquake, staff with the municipality's Solid Waste Services are still on-site doing their jobs.

Employees continued to work this week in a back parking lot of the SWS Maintenance Building, which has been closed due to damage from the 7.1 quake.

"Every one of those columns has damage to it, so, there's no structural strength if that building were to shake again," said SWS Planning and Engineering manager Mark Madden.

Madden is one of the supervisors who used to work in the maintenance building, which also hosted repair work.

"We haven't been as productive as we'd normally would be," Madden said.

Ever since the building's closure the day after the quake, SWS trucks have been parked outdoors. Repairs are already expected to top $4 million.

"To replace it is probably about eight to nine million dollars, I believe right now," Madden said.

The Administration Building houses some department offices. Right now, though, it looks like a storage room.

"We have no locker rooms for our employees right now; the break room is kind of questionable," Madden said.

He and co-workers have moved to portable trailers across the parking lot. While it's been a bit stressful, there is still a sense of pride.

"We have not stopped any services," said SWS Recycling Coordinator Suzanna Caldwell. "We were open the day after the earthquake out here at the landfill, even despite all of the challenges we were facing." 

SWS officials hope to get some money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for the project, but failing that SWS would pay for the work. Management says it's way too soon to speculate how that could impact user fees.

The repair project could start later this year, and will take about a year to complete when it begins.

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