“The pace has picked up considerably on several fronts,” said Peter Olsen, a Kodiak entrepreneur who will operate the plant to turn waste and wood chips from area logging operations into compost.
Olsen and the city are working under a tight deadline. When expansion of the Kodiak Island Borough landfill is complete, changed EPA regulations will come into effect and waste now dumped in the landfill will have to go somewhere else.
Kodiak considered shipping the waste — what remains after the city’s water treatment facility is done with its work — off-island, but the cost was high.
When the compost facility comes online, it will not be breaking new ground. The city of Fairbanks already turns its solid waste into compost prized by Interior Alaska gardeners.
A permit from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation will be needed for the effort, and the city will throw its weight behind the permitting process.
On Tuesday night, the Kodiak City Council agreed to back a formal letter of support for Olsen.
“What I would really like is to have a signed contract,” he said, “but I know that is not possible.”
Olsen said the letter will allow him to sign contracts for equipment and the three to five acres of land needed to produce the compost.
Olsen said that area is small, but he predicts demand for compost will be high enough that it will sell quickly.
“It’s going to be a processing center that processes stuff, but it isn’t going to stay there for very long,” he said. “(The compost is) not a regulated product. It could end up on your lawn someday.”
The Kodiak City Council will hold a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiak