Unlike other Southeast communities, who have their landfills positioned outside of the main community infrastructure, the Juneau Landfill is in central Lemon Creek area, between the Mendenhall Valley and downtown Juneau.
Since the closure of the incinerator in 2004 the amount of waste being placed in the landfill has reached higher levels than ever before. The DIA is concerned with the health hazard posed to residents of Lemon Creek as well as the impacts to traditional subsistence foods in the Gastineau Channel, including sea asparagus, shellfish, fish, and waterfowl. They are worried about the safety of eating these foods and feel they must take the additional time and expense to travel farther from the community to harvest these traditional food sources. They have also stated that the fish streams in the Lemon Creek watershed that use to be home to trout and spawning salmon no longer have fish. They believe the Juneau community should be doing a better job of monitoring and managing waste flows in the community. They have proposed a community waste tracking program to better quantify, monitor, and manage our community disposal and recycling practices.