Towers and turbines have regulations, too


By CCHRC Staff

The “Ask a Builder” series is dedicated to answering some of the many questions Fairbanks residents have about building, energy and the many other parts of home life.

Q: Are there any regulations I need to know about before I put up a wind tower, or can I put one up anywhere?

Wind technology has been around for a long time but is only now truly growing among the consumer sector, so the laws and regulations are still developing as well. There are few regulations pertaining to wind turbines specifically, but there are regulations pertaining to towers in general.

If the tower is more than 200 feet tall, it must have a light on top to meet FAA regulations. If the tower is part of another building, construction regulations come into play, as there are some stipulations on the height of structures on properties. Consult the local building departments and learn about planning and zoning considerations. These regulations are looked at on a case-by-case basis because the subdivision, zoning and other factors must be considered.

Even though there are few regulations when it comes to wind turbines specifically, do not disregard aesthetics and potential noise. Also do not leave your neighbors out of the process. They may have some questions or concerns or may just want to know how a nearby wind turbine will affect them.

Q: Where can I recycle metal locally?

The most common metals people have are aluminum cans and tin cans.

There are many places aluminum cans are accepted in the interior. Nonprofit organizations like the Lion’s Club, Fairbanks Resource Agency and Joy Elementary will take them because they can be turned in for money. The Fairbanks Rescue Mission also accepts cans as part of its recycling program.

Aluminum can go straight to the metal recyclers such as C&R Pipe and Steel and K&K Recycling.

Some of the FNSB transfer sites also have collection bins for aluminum.

Food cans are also accepted at metal recyclers (they do not pay out for tin cans like they do for aluminum). For all other types of metals, including automobiles and building materials, contact the local recyclers to see what they will accept. Some of the borough transfer sites will take other metals and items, like appliances, which have specially designated bins.

Alaska HomeWise articles promote home awareness for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC). If you have a question, e-mail us at can also call the CCHRC at (907) 457-3454.