MADRAS, OR -- With 100,000 visitors expected in Madras for this summer’s eclipse, the small town is likely to swell to more than 10-times its normal size. And, all those people are going to generate a lot of trash. Madras Sanitary Service has been planning for more than a year. President Melanie Widmer says the big events, like Oregon SolarFest, have done a good job preparing well in advance. "So, they have boxes and carts and things ordered up already. The City of Madras is trying to plan as much as they can, so they have quite a few different things located all over town to try and be as prepared as possible." But, she hopes it will be enough, because her company is now running short on containers.
In a typical summer, Widmer says they handle 800-900 tons of garbage. But, she has no idea what to expect, this year. "For a once in a lifetime kind of thing, everyone is trying to cover all their bases," Widmer tells KBND News. "So our biggest issue we’re anticipating will be the transportation part. In the few days before and after the eclipse, we’re going to shift a lot of our work to the middle of the night, hoping that they’ll be able to get around a little better, then." She adds, "We’ve been making sure that we’re in touch with the city and the Chamber and kind of knowing what their plans are so we can be prepared, so we have the access we need to get to. We’re making sure we’re staffed up." She says she warned employees months ago there would be no time off surrounding the eclipse.
Widmer also says, "We’re looking at some kind of temporary service, some help with hauling all the garbage out of the area. Because there’s no landfill here, everything gets hauled to The Dalles, so we know we may need some extra help getting things trucked out of the area." She points out that could also happen at night, to try and avoid traffic that could stall efforts. "We have room and trailers enough to stockpile some, but we can’t go too long without hauling to The Dalles or we’ll just run out of space to store the garbage."
Eclipse Coverage on KBND is supported in part by Awnings Unlimited. Shade yourself from the sun with Awnings Unlimited at 5541-389-1619 and awningsunlimited.net.