Residents, business owners and organization managers in the Tiller/Drew/Milo area are greatly concerned that Douglas County is considering closing seven of 11 outlying transfer sites in Douglas County.
Closing the Tiller transfer site would put great hardship on clientele in this area. Hauling trash from the upper Drew area to the Myrtle Creek Transfer Site, the nearest to us in the proposal, would result in an approximate 88 mile round trip and about two hours of driving time.
The distance from Tiller proper is about a 73-mile round trip. Currently no commercial service for haulage exists above Tiller. It isn’t typical for a resident, business or organization to combine a trash-haul trip with other business such as a “town day” to shop for groceries, clothes and the like, because of the equipment and clothing needed to haul and handle trash.
There are environmental concerns to closing the Tiller site too, including illegal dumping of wastes, burning of hazardous materials, potential for water and air pollution, and attraction of nuisance wildlife. One compliance officer cannot adequately police the areas affected by the closures. And overall, a greater consumption of fuel and attendant emissions for haulage of waste would be used in this proposal.
Waste management is more than a user service — it is a public safety issue and an environmental protection service and as such an essential service that can be funded from several sources. We need a more comprehensive, long-term and forward-thinking analysis, rather than just suddenly closing sites.
Adequate public involvement should occur in developing any proposals developed that affect public service before a proposed decision is made. We do want our county to be successful and to provide responsible services to its citizens.