Over the past few years and at the direction of the Metro Council, Metro staff has been working to update Metro’s solid waste code and administrative rules to provide greater clarity and predictability for the public and for those directly involved in the greater Portland area’s garbage and recycling system. These efforts have sought to remove unnecessary and outdated provisions, clarify terms, and enable greater flexibility for Metro to protect the public’s interest and respond to sudden changes in markets for various types of materials.
In 2017 the Metro Council adopted requirements to guide the operations of material recovery and conversion technology facilities. It also made necessary housekeeping changes to terms and definitions in Metro’s solid waste code. With the recent adoption of the 2030 Regional Waste Plan and the initiation of Metro’s new disposal contract in January 2020, it is time to consider additional updates to Metro’s solid waste code.
Metro staff proposes the following updates to Metro’s solid waste code:
- Chapter 5.00 (Solid Waste Definitions) – Updating the current chapter to ensure that definitions conform with proposed changes to Chapters 5.02 and 5.03
- Chapter 5.02 (Regional System Fee) – Updating current Chapter 5.02 and moving Metro transfer station fees and administrative rulemaking provisions to new separate chapters (Chapters 5.03 and 5.08, respectively) while Chapter 5.02 continues to govern the Regional System Fee
- Chapter 5.03 (Solid Waste Fees at Metro Transfer Stations) – Establishing a new chapter to govern Metro’s own transfer station fees
- Chapter 5.08 (Administrative Rulemaking Authority for Title V) – Establishing a new chapter to govern Metro’s administrative rulemaking process for the entire solid waste code
The draft administrative rules continue Metro’s practice of keeping policy requirements in code while using administrative rules to implement the Metro Council’s policy direction and provide greater detail. Administrative rules allow more flexibility to protect the public’s interest and to more quickly respond to emergencies and disruptions when necessary.
Metro will post the draft administrative rules for an additional public comment period if the Metro Council adopts the proposed changes to the four chapters of the Metro code described above. However, the draft administrative rule language is included below for preliminary public review, along with an example of a Metro transfer station fee schedule so readers can see how Metro proposes to implement the code amendments.
Please note that rather than providing a “tracked changes” document that shows all of the proposed revisions, Metro has prepared a summary that describes the proposed changes in detail. A copy of that summary is available for download below.
Written comments were solicited on the proposed code changes, including the draft administrative rules, until Sept. 13, 2019. An informational session was held Sept. 9 at which Metro staff presented more information about these proposed code changes, answered questions and addressed concerns. Copies of the written comments received by Metro are available to view below, along with Metro staff's responses to the comments.
Metro Council consideration
The Metro Council will consider the proposed code amendments at its meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7. A public hearing will be held at which verbal and written testimony may be given. Following the public hearing, the code amendments will be held over for a second reading and vote by the Metro Council at its meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21.