BEND, OR -- Deschutes County will conduct a phone survey, over the next two weeks, to get more input on where local trash should go, once the Knott Landfill hits capacity. One proposal would truck the county’s garbage to a landfill in the Columbia River Gorge. Another option is to create a new landfill in an unincorporated part of Deschutes County.
Solid Waste Director Timm Schimke says County Commissioners learned a lot from recent listening sessions, but they want a statistically valid survey of residents to help guide their final decision. "The feedback we’ve gotten so far is from people who are interested, who are aware. There’s a whole lot of people in the community who don’t think about their trash at all; as long as it disappears out there, off the curb, that’s all they care to think about. So, we’re trying to reach out and get the opinion of some of those people." He adds, "When those results come back, then the board [of County Commissioners] will be ready to make a decision. I expect that decision to happen sometime in the month of July."
Schimke says, at the county’s current rate of growth, the Knott Landfill has about decade left. He tells KBND News, "2029 is kind of what we’re looking at. I mean, if we grow faster than anticipated, that’ll be a shorter timeframe." And he says, it's important to decide now how to proceed because it takes about 10 years to develop a new facility, if county leaders choose that option.
Regardless of whether they build a new landfill or decide to truck the county's trash to a facility in the Gorge, prices will go up, "Knott Landfill, being so close to the community, has been a real financial benefit to the community. So 180,000 tons go into the landfill a year; probably 75% of that kind of shows up at the gate. We don’t have to transport it. But, once that landfill is full, we’re picking up all 180,000 [tons] and taking it somewhere else - maybe 30 miles out, maybe 130 miles out."