Metro is taking a new look at services provided at Metro South Station to make the facility more efficient, customer friendly and sustainable for the long run.
Metro South Station, a solid waste transfer station owned by Metro and located in Oregon City, is a popular facility that receives many types of materials from a variety of sources. Garbage trucks bring trash collected at homes and businesses to Metro South, where it is consolidated with other waste materials. They also bring organic materials (yard debris and food scraps) to be transferred to specialized composting facilities.
In addition, households and a variety of businesses "self-haul" their materials – garbage, construction debris, recyclable items and others – for recovery, reuse and disposal. No matter the source of the materials, workers try to reclaim and reuse as many items as possible before the rest is transported to landfills.
Metro South also features a household hazardous waste facility where paints, solvents, cleaners, fertilizers, and many other chemicals can be collected and handled safely without creating extra hazards for our environment. Often these materials are still usable, and Metro's partnerships with non-profit organizations ensure that hazardous materials get reused properly while saving people valuable money.
Since its opening in 1983, Metro South has evolved from a garbage transfer station to provide the various waste management services it offers today. But the facility is constrained with limited room to grow, making it increasingly challenging for Metro South to continue to provide the full set of services desired by our customers.
To meet this challenge, Metro undertook a two-year evaluation of the services offered at Metro South. This evaluation considered projections for future demand for different types of waste management services, the availability of similar services nearby, and recommendations for enhancing the sustainability, customer service and efficiency of Metro South's operations over time.
This effort had three stages:
- A review of the solid waste transfer system in the Metro South service area
- A comprehensive needs assessment of Metro South customers
- The development of future options to address any unmet or emerging needs
Reports from the first two stages of this project are available to download below. In November 2014, the Metro Council directed its staff to further study two possible configurations for the Metro South site:
- A reconfiguration of the existing site, bringing all activities to grade level, expanding the available capacity for garbage, food waste and yard debris processing by about 45,000 feet and changing traffic patterns, and
- Development of a separate facility, away from the current Metro South site, to serve self-haul customers and receive hazardous waste from households and small businesses, and configure the current Metro South site to serve commercial garbage, food waste and yard debris haulers only.
Metro staff is continuing to explore both options. Decisions about any improvements to Metro South will come after decisions are made on other Solid Waste Roadmap projects relating to the best ways to improve the collection of food scraps, the roles of different facilities in the region's solid waste transfer system, and other decisions that will shape Metro South's role in serving the needs of our region.