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Deschutes County Commissioners Discuss Landfill Site Criteria

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners will start discussions Monday on the kind of property they want to pursue for the next landfill. Director of Solid Waste Chad Centola tells KBND News an advisory committee created a list of criteria for Commissioners to consider, like how far it should be from an airport and the economic and environmental impacts of a site. "Looking at private and publicly owned land, exclusive of the federal government, that meets criteria. One of the base criteria that will be part of the first selection is - the Solid Waste Management Plan identified that we would need a 250-acre site for the landfill, and at least a 250-acre buffer." That buffer would not necessarily be owned by the county, but it should be space not needed for housing or commercial development. 

Officials have already agreed the new landfill will be sited inside Deschutes County. Centola says, "If you ship waste off to an out-of-county landfill, you’re paying a host fee to that county and city that landfill resides in. So, there’s a cost there. It gives us a little bit more flexibility in how we manage our waste, if technologies or improvements in existing technologies come up that we can do better diversion and keep things out of the landfill. If all that is happening within Deschutes County, we just have better control over that waste flow." He says shipping out of the area would also significantly increase the county’s carbon footprint.

Centola stresses there is no specific location under consideration yet. "At the start, we could have a couple hundred properties that come out in the first step in the analysis, and they’ll drop off as we apply the criteria to it. The goal, through next March, is to get to a short list of, ideally, three sites. And then those three sites have to go through a much more detailed analysis." 

He says the new location needs to be on line by the time the Knott Landfill reaches capacity, which is estimated to happen in 2029. 

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