Garbage and recycling system facility services and gaps are experienced differently by people throughout the region. The current distribution of facilities means some people have easy access to services – such as mattress recycling or construction waste disposal – while others do not.
Between September 2022 and June 2023, Metro used a combination of engagement activities and technical research to identify facility gaps in the regional reuse, recycling and garbage system.
Engagement efforts gathered input from local government partners, representatives from the garbage and recycling industry, reuse and repair organizations and community members.
The technical analysis focused on transfer facilities. These facilities accept materials from the public or garbage and recycling companies, consolidate loads and transport to other facilities to process materials for reuse, recycling, composting and landfilling. For example, most curbside trash is taken to a transfer facility before it ends up in a landfill.
Metro looked at 14 groups of facilities, organized by the materials they process and what customers they serve. Staff assessed gaps in three main areas:
- Access – how long does it take to drive to facilities and how close they are to public transport, walking and biking infrastructure
- Cost differences – how consistent are disposal costs throughout the region
- Disaster resilience – are facilities located in areas at high risk of flooding or earthquake damage
The interactive images below summarize the gaps identified through both the engagement and technical analysis work done during phases 2 and 3 of the Garbage and Recycling System Facilities Plan project. Hover over the icons to learn more about the challenges disposing of each material.