Lane County Commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the contract to build a new waste processing facility for Lane County, with the majority saying the Integrated Materials and Energy Recovery facility would reduce Lane County’s waste, preserve the Short Mountain Landfill and create jobs. “Our job is being good stewards of our public resources,” Commissioner Laurie Trieger said. “We also really owe it to our constituents to get out of the weeds and trust our professional staff and consultants and zoom out and think big picture. Because the decisions we make today are going to impact the future. … We (commissioners) all have kids and/or grandchildren and that’s really who this project is for.”

In their dissenting votes, Commissioner Ryan Ceniga said he felt the project had insufficient public outreach and Commissioner David Loveall said he was wary of what he said was an untested model for recycling. “This is a project that’s not been done before on this scale,” Loveall said. “This is about business, and we need to be as business-ly astute as we can as a county … (the IMERF would be) picking contaminated material and trying to make recyclable material out of contaminated material, which is the bottom rung of the commodities market.”

During public comment the proposal received praise from people who said it would reduce Lane County’s landfill use and emissions and create jobs, but opposition from people who objected to the increased rates needed to build the Integrated Materials and Energy Recovery facility, and potential harm to the people who currently haul, recycle, and siphon methane from Lane County’s waste.

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Author: Alan Torres, The Register-Guard
Image: Lane County and Bulk Handling Systems