By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Recology re-submits transfer station application

Recology is seeking a conditional use permit allowing it to expand its site on Orchard Avenue to encompass a transfer station featuring a trio of new structures. That would position it to haul waste into McMinnville, and transfer it into long-haul trucks bound for distant disposal sites, in the event it can’t come to terms on a new contract with Riverbend Landfill or the nearly full landfill closes.

The company first submitted a transfer station application last year, then withdrew it as it entered into negotiations with Riverbend parent Waste Management Inc. on a new disposal contract. Unable to come to terms, Recology, which currently trucks much of Yamhill County’s garbage to Riverbend, has revived the proposal in order to “provide an alternative method of solid waste disposal.”

General Manager Fred Stemmler was not available for comment Thursday. But the application indicates the station would not accept waste from the Portland metropolitan area, as Riverbend does, and would not affect the site’s existing composting operation.

In the filing, Recology said transfer operations would be conducted “primarily indoors.” It said trucks will drive into the facility to dump material for sorting. After recyclable materials were separated, the residue would be loaded into long-haul trucks for transport to an alternative disposal site.

The company said freshly dumped waste would not remain on site more than 48 hours.

“Recology trucks collect municipal solid waste from customers within Yamhill and Polk counties,” the application indicates. “These trucks currently haul waste loads directly to a local landfill for disposal.

It said approval of the application would allow trucks to deliver waste directly to the facility, adding recyclable materials would continue to be collected as they are now.

Assuming approval, it said, “The expansion will allow the facility to add new equipment that will improve sorting capabilities and reduce overall quantities of waste currently disposed of in a landfill.

“Materials will be loaded onto a sort line and pass through a series of automated and manual sort processes. Materials will then be loaded as is or baled and shipped from the facility.”

Plans call for construction of a 7,500-square-foot structure for loading and unloading, a 6,300-square-foot structure for non-commercial drop-off and a new public recycling drop-off and drive-through structure.

The driveway on the north side of the existing building would be closed, and two new driveways would be added on the east side, to “provide better traffic circulation and improved vehicle queuing into and out of the east area recycling and waste drop-off areas,” the company said. It said the existing west driveway would continue to provide access to the operation as well.

Recology promises steps would be taken to minimize noise, odor and litter. It promises to collect any litter that escapes.

“The applicant will control dust, odors and noise from the transfer station building through the use of roll-up doors and drapes at the entrance and exit to the building,” the company promised planners. “The drapes will be raised only when a truck is entering or leaving the building.

“Recology uses drapes at other facilities, and they have proven to be an effective method of controlling dust, odor and noise so that outside areas are not impacted.”

The company is expecting the planning commission to consider its application on April 21.