Recycling, Nome’s way
It can often seem as though all the necessities of daily life are more difficult in the Alaskan Bush: from transportation to healthcare to grocery shopping.
On most days of the year, recycling also falls into this category, but thanks to the efforts of a local organization, even specialized recycling is possible in Nome.
Spearheaded by tribal organization Kawerak (kuh-WEAR-ick) and point person Anahma Shannon, Nome’s annual e-waste event took place in late May, offering residents of our region a chance to responsibly dispose of all sorts of electronic equipment — from old computers and printers to spent batteries — that can’t simply be thrown in the trash.
As we’ve done every year since its inception, KNOM aired announcements leading up to the e-waste drive and broadcast during the event, with a live report from volunteer newsie Anna Rose MacArthur (pictured chatting with news director Matthew Smith and then interviewing Anahma on the air).
Thanks to you, we were able to spread the word about this important community service — and help keep unsafe chemicals out of Nome’s landfill!
What became of the e-waste? Did it turn into cash for the ministry? How far did it need to be transported to dispose of it?
Ellen, the backhaul program is run by Kawerak, a native corporation which serves not only Nome, but more remote Alaska Native communities in Western Alaska. The e-waste was collected from those communities along with Nome, put on the barge and taken to Seattle to be recycled. If any money is made off the service, it is put back into Kawerak to fund removing more waste from these remote communities in the future. It is not a KNOM-run program.