Today Metro announced its intent to award new contracts for the transport and disposal of garbage received at Metro Central and Metro South transfer stations, starting in January 2020.
The garbage will go to Columbia Ridge Landfill near Arlington, Ore., through a contract with Waste Management, which owns the landfill. Walsh Trucking Company will transport the garbage from the two transfer stations to this landfill. Both contracts will be in effect for 10 years with two possible five-year extensions.
“After a highly competitive process, we chose two companies that are experienced in managing and transporting garbage and are well-positioned to provide good service,” said Paul Slyman, Metro’s director of Property and Environmental Services. “We believe we’ve done right by the Portland area’s ratepayers and the environment.”
Metro’s two transfer stations handle about 40 percent of the garbage generated in the greater Portland area – currently about 500,000 tons per year. The other 60 percent is handled by five privately owned transfer stations around the region.
Since 1991 Metro has promised 90 percent of all landfill-bound garbage created within Metro’s jurisdiction to a Waste Management landfill. That contractual obligation ends on Dec. 31, 2019, after which privately owned transfer stations will make their own arrangements, with a few limitations, for the disposal of the garbage they receive. The garbage brought to Metro Central and Metro South transfer stations will continue to go to Columbia Ridge under the terms of the new contract.
Walsh Trucking has been transporting waste from Metro Central and Metro South to Columbia Ridge Landfill since 2010. About sixty long-haul trucks per day, each with about 34 tons of garbage, leave Metro Central and Metro South to make the nearly 150-mile one-way journey to the landfill.
Both of the contract awards announced today come at the end of an open procurement process, announced in the summer of 2017, which solicited proposals from landfill operators and companies offering various transportation options, including barge and rail.
Four landfills were in competition for this waste: Columbia Ridge Landfill; Finley Buttes Landfill near Boardman, Ore., owned by Waste Connections; Roosevelt Regional Landfill in Roosevelt, Wash., owned by Republic Services, and Wasco County Landfill near The Dalles, also owned by Waste Connections. Metro announced last May that it would begin negotiations with Waste Management for continued use of Columbia Ridge after that proposal scored the highest in the review.
The new contract includes the following terms related to cost and efficiency of operations:
- Metro will pay lower rates per ton than what Waste Management currently charges for disposal of the Metro region’s garbage.
- Added hours and other operational improvements at Columbia Ridge Landfill are expected to enable more efficient operations at Metro’s two public transfer stations, which will help improve service for Metro’s waste customers.
- Private transfer stations may, under certain circumstances, take advantage of Metro’s reduced disposal rate.
On the transportation side, proposals were received from two trucking companies (Walsh and LTI, Inc.), a barge company (Tidewater Barge Lines), and Union Pacific Railroad working with Waste Management to send waste to Columbia Ridge by rail. In the end, Walsh’s proposal was considered to provide the best value for the ratepayers of the greater Portland area. Some of the requirements for the new transportation contract include:
- Increased wages for Walsh drivers
- Reduced environmental impacts resulting from increased fuel efficiency and more garbage hauled per load
- Partnership opportunities with community-based organizations to improve recruitment and training for drivers, mechanics and other Walsh employees and to support career development, especially for women and communities of color.
Each contract will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.