Thompson Sanitary officials told the Newport City Council Monday that there are a number of factors that are driving their desire for their customers to separate out compostable materials (food waste & yard debris) from regular trash. One of the factors cited was slowing down the “fill rate” of Lincoln County’s landfill of choice – Coffin Butte, just northwest of Albany. Thompson officials said the region needs Coffin Butte to last for many decades but it won’t if we, and other residents, continue to dump ALL our trash in it. It would be far better, they say, to separate out food and yard waste and turn it into fertile soil supplements for our gardens and land application for farm crop yields.
Thompson reviewed a recent survey of their customers on their feelings about separating out food and yard waste and putting it into a separate trash bin. The survey showed very strong support for it. The added cost would be $6.59 a month. But survey respondents were not too keen on that part.
Thompson officials said the public needs to look differently at their waste stream. The main thing, they say, is realizing that they can trade in their biggest trash bin for the next size down, because their new food and yard waste trash bin will be taking on more of the load. And with the smaller trash bin they can save a big part of the $6.59 that is charged extra for the food and yard waste bin.
Thompson officials also expressed concern that as larger cities like Portland run out of space to dump their wood and food waste, they’ll start buying access to the area’s main composting company located near Monmouth, Pacific Region Composting (PRC). If Portland commands more space at PRC, counties like Lincoln might find themselves shut out of the composting industry unless it’s hauled to likely to future sites in Eastern Oregon, which would be more costly. Thompson officials said preserving a share of PRC’s composting capacity is very important. Therefore they hope Lincoln County and Newport city officials grant the trash hauler permission to launch it’s compostables program, effective July 1st.
These and other aspects of compostables management will be part of Thompson’s formal presentation to the Newport City Council on Tuesday, February 18th,6pm, at city hall. The public is strongly urged to come and be part of the discussion.