A massive cleanup effort is getting underway in Alaska, with tons of marine debris set to be airlifted from rocky beaches and taken by barge for recycling and disposal in the Pacific Northwest.

Hundreds of heavy-duty bags of debris, stockpiled at a site in Kodiak, also will be shipped out. The barge is scheduled to arrive in Kodiak by Thursday, before setting off on a roughly one-month venture.

Chris Pallister, with the group Gulf of Alaska Keeper, says the complex project was spurred, in part, by the mass of material that's washed ashore and the high cost of shuttling small boatloads of debris from remote sites.

A state marine debris coordinator says changes in rules at the Anchorage landfill also contributed.