Riverbend a good deal for customers in Yamhill County

To the editor:

I support the Riverbend Landfill zone change.

I am a retired, disabled veteran living on a tight budget and a fixed income. I value the work that Riverbend does to protect the environment and I do not want to pay more for garbage disposal. Even an increase of a few dollars a month is unacceptable when it means shutting down a local business that is operating by the rules and being a good neighbor.Jan. 5 letters to the editor

I have attended several of the Riverbend community meetings because I want to educate myself. I have left many of these meetings discouraged because of the belligerence from several of the Waste Not people. I think it is fair to say this group is not looking for solutions.

I am someone who gets involved when I see a need for change. I noticed a lot of bicycles being scrapped that people were dropping off at Riverbend. After discussing the problem with Riverbend management, we forged a partnership. Riverbend employees now set aside used bikes and bike parts. I pick them up and repair them. Riverbend also picks up the tab for supplies at Tommy’s Bike Shop in McMinnville.

They asked YCAP to distribute the bikes to people who need them. Since then, our Pedal Power Partnership and YCAP have recycled 1,350 bikes for use across Yamhill County. This program can only work with the cooperation of people like the management at Riverbend and Waste Management and their concerns about recycling and community involvement.

I tell you this because I think it shows how one person can make a difference. Just imagine how much we could improve recycling if Waste Not was focused on educating their neighbors with solutions instead of complaints!

Dean Williams, Amity

Boyes’ death deserved more prominent coverage

To the editor:

I did not know Mike Boyes personally, but knew of him through the years as he served Newberg in various ways. Having heard of his untimely death, I was dismayed to find a story of him on page 13 of your local paper.

Page 1 had a story, plus photo, concerning the Portland School District. There also was an article, again on page 1, of a run which will not take place for six months.

You might want to consider honoring local people and events, which are of immediate interest, to a more prominent spot in the paper.

Your headline of Mike’s death even called him “Mr. Newberg.” That alone should have caught the attention of those who assign where articles are to be placed in the paper.

We are a small town, interested in and wanting to be part of local happenings.

Doris Hall, Newberg

(Editor’s note: Due to the holidays all but a few pages of the Jan. 1 paper, including the front page, were assembled early on Dec. 27 and the information for the story about Mr. Boyes’ death was not available until later that day.)

F.E.A.R.: False Expectations Appearing Real

To the editor:

Waste Management has effectively created a climate of F.E.A.R. in Yamhill County regarding substantial rate increases for businesses and residents if Riverbend Landfill is closed.

However, as Alan Ruden stated in his testimony at the recent Yamhill County Commissioner’s hearing on the Riverbend rezoning application, the only source of the information generating this fear is Waste Management, the very entity who stands to benefit most from its success.

The simple truth is we have been manipulated by their scare campaign into believing that waste disposal costs inevitably will rise with landfill closure. The fact is rising disposal costs are not a given if Riverbend closes.

Hitting people’s pocketbooks is a classic fear-generating weapon and needs to be seen for what it is: a transparent, self-serving effort by Waste Management to garner support for expansion of Riverbend.

However, a recent survey of residential rates in surrounding communities, who do not have a landfill in their midst and whose waste must travel many miles further for disposal, has documented that most pay less or a similar rate as ours. Therefore, the arguments that having a landfill in our midst is necessary to keep our rates down and that Riverbend’s closure will result in increased disposal rates simply are not true.

The long overdue solution is to initiate an open, competitive bidding process for Yamhill County’s solid waste disposal; no such process currently exists. Without any competitive information from other providers we are sitting ducks for Waste Management’s fear-mongering campaign that rising costs are inevitable upon landfill closure.

Get competitive information and get rid of the F.E.A.R!

Susan Meredith, McMinnville

Riverbend, Waste Management good neighbors

To the editor:

I am a businessman who appreciates the role that Waste Management plays in our local economy and community infrastructure. If Riverbend Landfill is forced to close, the negative economic impacts will be far greater than many people realize.

Here are a few things to think about:

We would all pay more for disposal. Together, everyone in the county would pay between $3.5 million and $5.1 million more each year.

This extra and unnecessary cost would be paid by businesses, schools, nonprofits, city and county buildings, and homeowners.

Yamhill County would lose a $25.5 million construction project. That is what Riverbend is prepared to spend if the zone change is approved. If the zone change is not approved, this construction project will not happen and Yamhill County will not benefit from the 202 direct construction jobs, secondary jobs and other positive economic impacts.

Finally, here is an example that I think provides a clear picture:

Last summer, the county hired a contractor to demolish a county-owned building. The project generated 158 tons of construction debris, which was taken to Riverbend Landfill for disposal.

To haul and dispose of this material at Coffin Butte Landfill near Corvallis, it would have cost about $4,900 more than it cost the contractor to take it to Riverbend.

To haul and dispose of the debris at the North Marion County Landfill, it would have cost about $10,300 more than it cost to take it to Riverbend.

To haul and dispose of the debris at Hillsboro Landfill, it would have cost about $5,900 more than it cost to take it to Riverbend.

The bottom line for Yamhill County: transporting waste to Riverbend is the least expensive option.

I hope this helps clarify why Riverbend is an asset for our community.

R. Waldo Farnham, McMinnville

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