ANCHORAGE -

Alaska's first regional resource recovery and training park opened Wednesday, as Valley Community for Recycling Solutions held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility.

Officials say the new facility, first imagined 14 years ago, will help offset the costs of a nearby landfill, which costs millions of dollars to expand every few years.

The recycling center boasts a new baler and completely renovated drive-thru area, so people can drop off recyclables despite bad weather.

Officials say people's mindset on recycling needs to change to benefit everyone ecologically.

“And with seven billion of us now living on Earth, we're all sharing the same resources we did back when there were only a billion of us,” said Mollie Boyer, with Valley Community for Recycling Solutions. “And so we can't afford to be throwing them into a hole and them being treated as garbage.”

Officials say the facility cost about $1 million. It is located in Palmer, next to the landfill and animal care building.