As the agency tasked with management of the region’s solid waste system, Metro has an obligation to the public to ensure the waste intended for reuse, recycling and other purposes is handled properly and sent to the appropriate markets and that garbage is managed and disposed of safely.
Over the years, Metro’s solid waste code became unnecessarily complicated with both duplicative and, in a few places, contradictory provisions. Cleaning up the code provides greater predictability, consistency and clarity for businesses while meeting Metro’s public obligations of ensuring accountability and transparency for the public in regulating the region’s garbage and recycling system.
In October 2015, the Metro Council directed Metro staff to seek additional public input on proposed improvements and housekeeping changes to Metro’s solid waste code. These changes aimed to bring greater consistency in how Metro reviews and authorizes solid waste facilities and bring greater transparency in how Metro implements its requirements to protect the environment and the public’s health.
The Solid Waste Alternatives Advisory Committee discussed these proposed amendments at its meetings on Jan. 13 and Feb. 25, 2016. At the Feb. 25 meeting, SWAAC recommended that Metro solicit input from the public on the proposed changes and open a 60-day review and comment period. A formal public comment period was open from March 1 through April 29, during which time Metro received comments, questions and suggestions submitted by the public that were included in the public record and provided to the Metro Council for its consideration.
Comments received from the public, and Metro staff's responses to these comments, are available to download from the links below. These comments informed a few additional changes to the proposed code language. These public comments and the revised changes to Metro's solid waste code were presented to SWAAC at its meeting on July 13, for further review and discussion. At SWAAC’s direction, the proposed solid waste code changes were presented to Metro Council for discussion at its work session on Sept. 20. The Metro Council held a public hearing on the proposed code changes on Oct. 27 and adopted the new policies on Nov. 10, 2016. The new Metro code language takes effect on Feb. 8, 2017.
Copies of the new code language can be downloaded from the links below.
Updated Metro solid waste code, effective Feb. 8, 2017
Proposed changes to Metro’s solid waste code, July 2016
Public comments received
Solid Waste Alternatives Advisory Committee
Material recovery facility and conversion technology subcommittee