The Douglas County Solid Waste Advisory Committee will once again take up a controversial proposal to shutter seven of the county’s 11 solid waste transfer stations.
SWAC will meet in a work session at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Room 310 of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 SE Douglas Ave., Roseburg.
No public comment will be taken at the meeting, which is billed as a work session.
“While the public is welcome to come and respectfully listen, there will not be a public comment session,” said a news release about the meeting issued by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners office.
The SWAC advises the commissioners on solid waste issues. Any decision about the transfer stations would ultimately be made by the county commissioners, whose weekly Wednesday morning meetings are open for public comment.
At the most recent SWAC meeting in January, conflict erupted between former SWAC chairman Larry Spielbusch and Commissioner Chris Boice. Spielbusch had been removed from his position the morning of the meeting and asserted it was because he wanted public discussion of the commissioners’ decision to allow the Hanna family to dump their Windmill Inn demolition waste in the landfill for free.
The proposal SWAC will consider Wednesday would close all stations except those in Roseburg, Reedsport, Oakland and Myrtle Creek. Proponents said the changes are necessary to keep the solid waste system self-sufficient. Smaller stations in the more rural locations are expensive to operate.
Tiller station costs about $12.25 per trash bag dumped there, for example, compared with $4.51 per bag in Roseburg.
Other changes under consideration include keeping a fifth transfer station open at Glide, raising the landfill disposal rate, and altering charges at the transfer stations to match the actual operations costs. Over time, it’s likely that increased charges would lead residents to drive farther to the more cost-effective stations, or to sign up for trash hauling services from private companies.