Leading with equity
Communities of color have often experienced the negative impacts of the garbage and recycling system while being left out of its benefits. The 2030 Regional Waste Plan – created in collaboration with communities of color – outlines Metro’s commitment to leading with racial equity in its work to modernize the garbage and recycling system.
For the future Metro South project, this means that communities of color, as well as community members closest to the potential facility, will be engaged throughout the project to identify benefits, burdens, challenges and opportunities.
Finding a potential site
Metro developed set of requirements to identify potential sites that could meet the needs of the project. Base criteria include: location within the established siting area; zoning that allows a transfer station use (industrial is best); and a lot size of at least seven acres. After meeting these foundational needs, Metro used 18 other factors to score and rank the remaining potential sites.
Only two out of 166 potential properties have been listed on the market for sale, since the search began. A property along Jennifer Street, was evaluated by Metro for potential purchase between 2020 and 2021. Metro leadership determined the site was too risky and expensive for the intended use.
In 2020-21 a community advisory group met to provide input about the project and developed a set of community criteria to be included in the review and assessment of possible sites. These criteria, called the community lens, will be integrated in the review process and part of the decision making process of future sites being considered for purchase.
Who would be impacted by this project?
In 2020 Metro conducted a racial equity analysis of the siting area to better understand the communities that could be impacted by a new transfer station. The study separated this area into five sub-areas to understand who lives in each - comparing and contrasting sub-area demographics to the siting area as a whole, and to the Metro region.
It found that the most vulnerable sub-areas, which have higher concentrations of people of color and people with low-incomes, were the Springwater sub-area and the Highway 212/224 subarea.
The analysis presents recommendations for facility siting opportunities, ways to actively engage vulnerable communities in project decisions, and how the new facility might benefit impacted communities.
Protecting the environment
Metro is committed to responsible environmental stewardship in all of its facilities. Any potential transfer center would incorporate design features to protect the environment from pollution or hazards and staff would be fully trained in emergency response. Read more about Metro’s commitment to clean water and air in the Future Metro South transfer center.
Why is a new facility needed?
For nearly 40 years the current Metro South facility has been a critical part of greater Portland’s garbage infrastructure, receiving more tonnage than any other facility in the region. The aging facility cannot safely serve the number of customers it receives now, nor the predicted growth of customers in future. The basis of need report describes the reasons for moving some or all of the Metro South services to a new facility.