In an earlier article regarding the purchase of property adjacent to the Roseburg landfill and transfer station, commissioner Chris Boice stated: ”One day, the landfill will be full and have to be closed down. At that point, the county will likely begin hauling trash brought to the transfer stations to landfills in other counties.” No imagination!

What would this cost the county each year? $$$$$$.

Have these idle commissioners investigated the possibilities of building a waste to energy facility like the one in Marion County? Marion County is making money disposing of waste from private entities, and other counties. Marion County is also selling power to the local electrical utilities.

With their landfills about to reach capacity and a need for revenues they produced a solution to increase the moneys they received to benefit the county by building the waste to energy facility at Brooks, a few miles north of Salem.

It would not take much effort to contact the Marion County Solid Waste Department. Marion County negotiated with a waste to energy company and the initial cost to Marion County was very minimal. Of course, the waste to energy company reaped a substantial part of the initial profits, but the county was not paying other counties to dispose of their waste. Their waste facilities are the standard for disposal.

Douglas County owns plenty of property that would accommodate such a facility, such as the Glide transfer site.

EPA and DEQ regulations keep the exhaust from the facility cleaner than what some of the mills put out.

They (the idle Douglas County commissioners) better “do something” before another southwestern county beats them to the punch and fees increase to an unbearable amount. The cost of Douglas County transferring waste to other counties will surely be passed on to “us.”

Gary Dykeman


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(3) comments


Mr. Dykeman is exactly right. There are many waste to energy incineration plants around the U.S. that burn garbage and convert the energy into steam which is then used to turn turbines to generate electricity. They are widely used in Europe where most of the countries don't have ANY land fills to dispose of their garbage. Unlike the U.S., they either recycle it or incinerate their garbage and make electricity.

For those worried about pollution, exhaust gasses from the combustion reactions are scrubbed to remove toxins which are recovered and sold as products. The city of Long Beach in California has one located right in the middle of LA County.

Garbage incineration is an 50-year old technology used world wide EXCEPT in the U.S. where it has always been simplest for politicians to land fill garbage rather than ask their constituents to fund an incineration plant.

Don't get me wrong, incineration plants are not cheap. Douglas County would probably need state and federal grants and possibly the partnership with another county to bring the cost down. But it will be a great way to provide power for all our electric cars we are going to be forced to use.


Waste-to-energy is a fine idea; as always, devil/details; in this case, scale and toxins are the details and the devils. Plasma gasification is a really, really great idea, but is likely not scalable here for some years; technology likely will put it within reach in maybe this decade, just as fusion is almost, almost, almost within reach.


There is such a thing as a Plasma Gassification Plant that converts waste to energy. With the Infrastructure money that states should be receiving, Douglas County should be filing for this immediately. The landfill could probably stay right where it is....

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