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Metro gets down to nitty gritty with trash talk

Two public work sessions set to discuss food, non-food waste options


COURTESY OF METRO  - Metro's contract with Waste Management expires in 2019, so the agency is exploring other uses for the region's waste besides trucking the bulk of it to the landfill 150 miles away.  At two big meetings this week and next, the Metro Council will consider the future of the region's food scraps and other waste.

For about the past year, Metro has led a public campaign, "Let's talk trash," to educate residents about different options for waste besides the landfill.

Those options will be on the table at the upcoming public work sessions to gain feedback and decide next steps.

• The Tuesday, July 21 work session will examine options for diverting the region's food scraps away from the landfill, toward energy production and composting.

Options could include setting recovery requirements and goals, and new guidelines for handling and processing food scraps.

The Metro Council will likely direct staff to pursue explore a combination of policies, incentives and investments to put more food scraps to better use.

The session is set for 2 p.m. at the Metro Regional Center, 600 N.E. Grand Ave.

• The Tuesday, July 28 work session will examine options for the region's non-food waste.

In April, Metro solicited expressions of interest from different waste processing companies.

Metro received responses from 19 companies, which staff will overview and suggest recommendations for further study.

The options include: combustion (burning garbage to create heat and electricity); gasification (heating garbage at very high temperatures to create gases and break down into compounds to be used for electricity); anaerobic digestion (using bacteria to break down material to produce methane and carbon dioxide for electricity, natural gas or other fuels); and refuse-derived fuels (developing new fuels from garbage that can be used in power plants and for other industrial purposes).

Such options would require an advanced material recovery facility where waste would be sorted and recyclable and reusable materials removed for efficient energy production.

The work session starts at 2 p.m. at Metro Regional Center.

For more: oregonmetro.gov.

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