Head of Anchorage trash services resigns

A red trash truck next to a pink trash can on an overcast day
A Solid Waste Services’ truck picks up organics bins. (Erin McKinstry/Alaska Public Media)

The Municipality of Anchorage’s Solid Waste Services director resigned on Thursday. It’s the second resignation announcement in Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration in as many days. 

Dan Zipay’s resignation from the head of the city’s garbage utility follows Chief of Staff Adam Trombley’s resignation on Wednesday.  

The mayor’s announcement did not address why Zipay stepped down. Zipay led the muni’s garbage utility since the mayor appointed him to the post in August 2021, after the prior director resigned. 

Bronson named the utility’s General Foreman Evalu Filitaula the acting director of Solid Waste Services. The muni’s communications team profiled Filitaula in 2018. He started with the municipality in 2005 as a “swamper” – riding on the outside of garbage trucks and manually loading trash into them. As foreman, he managed operators, vehicle maintenance and equipment purchasing. 

The utility is responsible for trash and recycling collection services for about a fifth of the city, as well as operating two transfer stations and the Anchorage Regional Landfill that serve the entire municipality. It has an annual operating budget of roughly $42 million, with more than 100 employees. 

A search for a permanent director is underway, according to the mayor’s office. 

The Solid Waste Services director is overseen by the municipal manager, another high-level position that turned over in December when Amy Demboski was fired. The current municipal manager, Kent Kohlhase, is also working in an acting capacity, unconfirmed by the Anchorage Assembly. 

Jeremy Hsieh covers Anchorage with an emphasis on housing, homelessness, infrastructure and development. Reach him at jhsieh@alaskapublic.org or 907-550-8428. Read more about Jeremy here.

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