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A history of Portland's trash

COURTESY METRO - The old St. Johns Landfill in North Portland. Many people like to trash talk, but do they like to talk about trash?

Metro, the regional government, hopes so.

It’s holding another in its Let’s Talk Trash series, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Oregon Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave. on Portland’s Park Blocks.

The topic, not surprising, is a historical one: What our trash says when we’re gone.

A panel of speakers will discuss the history of trash in the Portland region and where it’s headed. Facilitated by Oregon Historical Society Executive Eirector Kerry Tymchuk, the panel will include: Dennis O’Neil, a former Metro employee; Steve Greenwood, an ex-Oregon Department of Environmental Quality employee; Tim Spencer, who works for DEQ; and Jen Fuller, a participating artist from Metro’s GLEAN art program.

The discussions are not just idle talk. Metro is debating far-ranging changes in how the region deals with its trash. One of the leading ideas is to burn much of the trash that can't be recycled, as done by Marion County, and produce energy instead. That would dramatically reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills.

The Metro Council will discuss the waste-to-energy plan at a Nov. 17 work session.

For more details on Wednesday’s free event: www.oregonmetro.gov/event/lets-talk-trash-what-our-trash-says-when-we-re-gone/2015-11-04

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@SteveLaw/Trib

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