Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce addresses patrons at the Funny River Solid Waste Transfer Site in Funny River, Alaska, on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. More than $670,000 in improvements are being made to the facility. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce addresses patrons at the Funny River Solid Waste Transfer Site in Funny River, Alaska, on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. More than $670,000 in improvements are being made to the facility. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Officials laud Funny River transfer site upgrades

More than 20 people attended a ceremony on Friday to celebrate improvements to the site.

Getting rid of trash in Funny River just got easier.

About 20 people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Funny River Solid Waste Transfer Site on Friday to celebrate more than $650,000 in improvements to the site.

The site, which is one of eight transfer sites in the Kenai Peninsula Borough according to the borough’s website, was identified as a priority in the Solid Waste Department’s five-year capital plan. $670,525 was allocated for the improvements, which include state-of-the-art cameras, better lighting, upgrades to containers and site visibility and better stormwater controls, according to Kenai Peninsula Borough Purchasing and Contracting Director John Hedges. Better communication to borough facilities will also allow the site to be monitored remotely, which Hedges said will save time and money.

One of the biggest changes made, however, is to the way people actually dispose of waste at the facility. Instead of having to lift trash into a receptacle, users are able to drive up a slight incline that allows them to be level with the receptacle doors. According to Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Director Dan Kort, lowering the height of the canisters and thus elevating site users will allow for easier disposal.

The site improvements are styled after the borough’s most modern transfer facility, in Crown Point, however additional improvements incorporated from other borough facilities mean the Funny River site will be used as the model for future unmanned site development, according to Kort.

The successful relocation of disposal operations to the new location on Friday means the old site can now be decommissioned and electrical improvements can begin. According to Hedges, the project is expected to be completed in late October of this year.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce cut the ribbon at the Friday ceremony. Pierce, who is up for reelection this year, said the improvements were “a long time coming.”

“It was a priority of mine when I became the mayor,” Pierce said, adding that improved visibility will help curb “riff raff” at the site.

The Funny River Road Solid Waste Transfer Site is located at Mile 10 of Funny River Road.

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