|The mission of the Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Center and its subsidiary, the Community Chest, is to reuse locally or to recycle as much material from the community's waste stream as possible. What cannot be reused or recycled is disposed of in a safe and environmentally-responsible manner by either placing in the community's permitted landfill or shipping the waste out of the community. The Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Center began operation in 1994, when the Gustavus Community Association received a permit to operate a landfill facility. In 1998, the Gustavus Community Association opened a thrift store known as the Community Chest. The purpose behind the Community Chest was to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill. The Community Chest accepts reusable household items such as used clothes, household goods, books, hardware, and small electronic devices to be resold through their volunteer-staffed store, with all proceeds benefiting local projects. After the community incorporated as a second class city in 2004, the Gustavus Landfill and Community Chest became a city department under the oversight of the Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling committee.
In 1996, Gustavus was one of six Southeast Alaska communities to connect to the internet as part of the SEAKNET program. Grants through the Alaska State Library and the National Technological Infrastructure Administration paid for the initial set-up, connection and a year of basic operating costs. By July 1997, Gustavus SEAKNET was completely self-supporting through user fees and became a function of the Gustavus Community Association. In January 2002, the network switched to a satellite service and was renamed Gustavus Community Network (GCN). After the community incorporated as a second class city in 2004, the Gustavus Community Network (GCN) became a city enterprise.
The operational structure of the Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Center (DRC) and the Gustavus Community Network (GCN) is that of an advisory utility board. The GCN and the DRC have board members appointed by the city council. Municipal code allows the utility board to set fees and prices for services. The utility board assumes most of the responsibility for the utility, while the council retains the right to make the final decision on all actions.
The city council is the formal governing body and meeting minutes verify that it is actively engaged in making decisions on behalf of the utilities. The city council meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month for work sessions and the second Thursday for regular council meetings. The council holds additional work sessions or special meetings if necessary. The city complies with open meeting requirements and posts meetings in accordance with local code and state statutes. Meeting notices are posted at the city hall, grocery store, and post office at least 5 days in advance of the meeting.
The council has adopted all the ordinances necessary to own and operate the utility services. Title 6, Chapter 3, of the Gustavus Municipal code establishes the policies and procedures for the operation and maintenance of the Disposal and Recycling Center (DRC); and Title 6, Chapter 5, establishes the municipal Internet Service known as the Gustavus Community Network.
The city does not have a current organizational chart for the utility services.