Make the McKenzie Connection!

Garbage haulers cry foul

Lane Couny plans $150 milion waste processing facility for Goshen site

EUGENE: A state-of-the-art garbage handling facility approved by the Lane County Board of Commissioners is being challenged by an association of family-owned garbage and recycling processors. Membership of the Lane County Garbage and Recycling Association includes Apex Recycling & Disposal, Royal Refuse, Ecosystems Transfer & Recycling, McKenzie Disposal, Coburg Sanitation, and Rexius.

Last week, the LCGRA sent a letter to Lane County detailing major legal issues with their 25-year $150,000,000 contract to utilize technology and equipment designed and built by a local manufacturer, Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) of Eugene.

“By taking this legal action, we are looking out for Lane County citizens - our loyal customers,” Jake Pelroy, a spokesman for LCGRA, said in a statement. “We will not be complacent in an illegal $100 million corporate loan bailout in the current IMERF proposal. These kinds of facilities are extremely risky, and the three commissioners who approved this deal imposed significant garbage tipping rate increases on county taxpayers to offset costs associated with the project.”

When voting to approve the project, commissioners Heather Buch (East Lane), Pat Farr (North Eugene), and Laurie Trieger (South Eugene) reviewed staff reports that cited benefits including mitigation of methane from the Short Mountain Landfill.

Public Works Director Dan Hurley called the plan “an exciting opportunity for our community,” that he felt would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions “to the tune of taking 30,000 cars off the road.”

Hurley added the project should create 190 jobs during the two-year construction period, followed by “65 ongoing family-wage positions to operate the IMERF after it opens.”

Voting against the plan were David Loveall of Springfield and Ryan Ceniga of West Lane County, who said they were concerned about costs and whether the county had fully informed the public.

In his letter, Pelroy says that at the time of the vote, commissioners were presented with an incomplete contract, “with ‘BHS PROJECTS @ LANE COUNTY LLC,’ a shell LLC that did not win the bid. Additionally, a provision in the contract states if either defaults on the contract, Lane County will be responsible for purchasing the private company’s equipment, valued at $100 million.”


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