BEND, OR -- The results are in on a Deschutes County trash survey, and most residents want their garbage to stay local.
Deschutes County Weighs Trash Options (01/28/2019)
County Commissioners must decide where garbage will go when the Knott Landfill reaches capacity in the next decade. They plan to use feedback from a recent phone survey during deliberations. Solid Waste Director Timm Schimke tells KBND News, "It came down to two main options that we're considering: either siting a new landfill in the county, or contracting for transportation and disposal of our waste at one of the large regional landfills up near the Columbia River." He says, "This survey showed that the vast majority of people, 93%, favor keeping the garbage here and dealing with it ourselves. So, siting a new landfill in the county was the overwhelming choice." He says residents want a local landfill to keep jobs here, but they're also interested in upgrading technology for recycling and sorting. But, he says, it's expensive, "We look at that new technology on a regular basis, every three to five years. We'll have technology in our system at some point, just not quite yet."
Schimke delivered survey results to County Commissioners on Monday. He says with such overwhelming support for a new local facility, it's very likely Commissioners will choose that option. "If the Board decides to adopt this and follow the community's preference, then we would start that process of identifying potential sites, ranking them and rating them and eventually coming up with a choice on which one to pursue. There'll be a lot of behind the scenes activity while we're looking at maps, and identifying potential sites, and then we'll start getting a lot of public input." He expects it would take about seven years to find and establish a new landfill site in unincorporated Deschutes County.