A report released today outlines ways to reduce the impacts of a local compost facility on its neighbors.
In the last few years, Grimm’s Fuel Company in Tualatin has been the subject of increasing numbers of complaints about odors, dust and other concerns raised by nearby residents and businesses. The facility handles about 60 percent of the yard debris generated in the greater Portland area.
The report is the result of an assessment of the facility’s operations, commissioned by Metro and conducted by Green Mountain Technologies. The recommendations in the report will be discussed at a community meeting on Thursday, July 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sherwood Center for the Arts.
Grimm’s operates under authority of a license issued by Metro and a solid waste permit issued by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The Metro license was due to expire in June 2017, and was extended through December 2017 to allow for additional public engagement. It was then renewed until the end of 2018 to allow Metro time to complete a full review of Grimm’s operations and develop updated requirements, in partnership with the other public agencies, for the facility to continue to serve the needs of the greater Portland area’s compost system while also addressing the concerns of neighbors.
Over a period of five months, staff from Green Mountain Technologies visited the Grimm’s facility, evaluated its operations and odor impacts on the surrounding community under various conditions, and interviewed Grimm’s staff, as well as neighbors and representatives of businesses located within three miles of the Grimm’s facility. Green Mountain Technologies produced an 86-page report that lays out four alternative approaches to managing compost piles, any of which would be expected to result in improved odor conditions at the facility and in surrounding areas.
All four proposed approaches would limit compost piles to no more than 14 feet in height. The alternatives involve outdoor aeration of compost piles, and one involves the construction of a building for processing compost indoors. Total costs for implementing any of the four alternatives is estimated between $1.3 million and $15 million, and the timeline for implementation of the alternatives varies from an estimated six months to two years.
Representatives from Green Mountain Technologies, along with Metro and other governments, will discuss this report and its recommendations at the community meeting in July. The meeting is open to the public and will provide opportunities to ask questions and share opinions about the report and its recommendations.
After the July meeting, Metro staff will consider the report’s recommendations and public feedback and propose a renewed license for Grimm’s Fuel Company with new conditions on its operations.