The Recycle Center’s current operation on Small Tracts Road includes the collection, processing, storing and shipping of an average of 250,000 lbs. of recyclables per year. HFR also provides numerous opportunities throughout the year for public education to promote recycling and share strategies to reduce the waste stream that enters the landfill. Which items can be recycled depends on what the recycling market will buy. All the recyclables are sorted when collected, then stockpiled until there is enough to ship south to the larger markets.

HFR is in the process of moving to a new location and offering new plastic up-cycling opportunities. In the new building, new products such as plastic lumber, benches, and planting pots will be produced from plastics that we collect and recycle locally. This will be the first time HFR is able to recycle or up-cycle locally.

HFR is a membership organization. We do not charge fees, except for special materials that cost extra to handle (such as removing refrigerants), to ship, or to recycle. In many other places, the costs of recycling and trash are included in taxes and fees, so some people assume that these are also government services in our community. However, HFR’s budget is instead sustained by about 1/3 materials sales, 1/3 grants, and 1/3 memberships and donations. Currently we have an amazing membership of over 300 members, a high percentage of our population of about 2,400. Membership renewal notices help to keep a strong membership list. The membership donation is important for our budget and the membership list and community support are both important for grant funding, as well.

Volunteer work is crucial in making special events/collections happen, such as the yearly electronics, scrap metal, and fish net recycling. Haines has better recycling options than many larger towns in Alaska because of our strong volunteerism and self-sort practices.

At this time, the HFR Center is located on rented property, where recyclables are processed and baled for shipping. Four shipping containers are used for the storage of paper, cardboard and fish nets to protect them from weather. Most other materials are stored outdoors. An electric fence keeps bears from destroying the bales awaiting shipment – just one of the challenges of recycling in Alaska!

We are excited to announce the recent purchase of land for our new Recycling Center. Having our own, centrally-located Recycling Center in town will allow for easier processing and safer storage of materials. We will continue our current services and launch post-consumer plastic and marine debris up-cycling. Watch for the grand opening in 2025!