The Board of Commissioners have been fielding many calls and emails regarding the status of the county’s eleven solid waste transfer sites. It is clear through these communications that a lot of false or misleading information is circulating about what actions the Board of Commissioners have taken on this issue. This letter is meant to provide accurate information regarding this matter.
At this point, the Board of Commissioners have taken no action regarding any changes in the Solid Waste system. To date, I have been the one working with the Solid Waste Advisory Committee as the Liaison Commissioner to the Solid Waste Division. The other two Commissioners have not been involved in the process. Recently, the county performed a cost of services study regarding the operations of the solid waste system which included the landfill and all the transfer stations. The results of that study were impacted by costs associated with several Oregon Department of Environmental Quality regulations, including new storm water regulations, new Title V regulations and the recently approved DEQ financial assurance plan for the landfill closure and post-closure requirements. Based on the study’s findings it is reasonable to conclude that the current fee structure for use of the landfill and transfer sites will become insufficient to cover the operational costs in the near future.
In an effort to continue to provide the best possible access at the lowest possible cost to the citizens of Douglas County, I have asked the Solid Waste Advisory Committee to review this information and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on how to address the future fiscal viability of the solid waste system. I want to be very clear in stating that no decisions have been made by the Board of Commissioners on this matter. However, likely options that may be considered include, but may not be limited to the consolidation of some existing transfer sites to avoid or minimize the need for fee increases, potential rate increases to maintain current levels of operations, a minimum price for disposal at existing transfer stations or a combination of any of these stated options.
The next Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting is 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in room 310 of the Douglas County Courthouse. The meeting is open to the public. Due to time constraints, no public input is taken at these meetings. However, the final recommendations of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee will be available to the public for discussion before any decision is made by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions regarding this matter at email@example.com.
Douglas County Commissioner