By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Riverbend landfill stops accepting garbage

News-Register file photo##An aerial view of Riverbend Landfill, taken in 2014.
News-Register file photo##An aerial view of Riverbend Landfill, taken in 2014.

Rumors have been spreading for the last 24 hours that Riverbend Landfill will be closing on Saturday.

Landfill spokeswoman Jackie Lang said they are not entirely true, but the landfill will stop accepting garbage from area cities.

“We expect to continue provide recycling and disposal for self haul customers at least through July 1,” Lang told the News-Register on Friday.

“Long-term, the plan is to meter in different types of waste as we prepare the outer slope for final cover,” she said.

Riverbend is owned by Houston-based Waste Management, which is the largest garbage company in the United States. In addition to Riverbend, it also owns Arlington and several other landfills, and operates garbage collection services in the Newberg-Dundee area.

The sudden announcement leaves local garbage collection company Recology Western Oregon scrambling. Recology collects garbage from the cities of McMinnville, Amity, Yamhill, Carlton, Sheridan, Willamina, Dayton and Lafayette, as well as some unincorporated areas of Polk and Yamhill counties. McMinnville’s garbage is trucked to Coffin Butte landfill outside Corvallis; all of the rest goes to Riverbend.

Dave Larmouth of Recology told the Chamber Greeters group on Friday that, after hearing the landfill planned to close its gates on Saturday, Recology asked it to stay open for at least a few days, for people self-hauling trash.

He noted that people can also haul their trash to Recology’s transfer station in McMinnville.

For garbage collection customers, Larmouth told the group, the plan is to work with cities to amend their franchise agreements, to haul their trash to Coffin Butte as well. That process requires public hearings for each city, and is likely to take some months.

However, he said, Recology first has to work with DEQ to amend its permit and operations plan, as well as with the city of McMinnville, to amend its conditional use permit to allow heavier use of the transfer station. That will also mean more traffic on Lafayette Avenue in McMinnville, he noted.

“Barring some sort of additional catastrophe, our plan is to continue collection operations as scheduled,” Larmouth promised.

He referred media questions to Recology General Manager Carl Peters.

County Planning Director Ken Friday said the county had not been notified of the change. The county collected $249,107 in tipping fees from the landfill for the 20-21 fiscal year. Of that, he said, $127,435 came from in-county, and $121,627 came from out of county.

DEQ spokesman Dylan Darling told the News-Register that “Waste Management has informed DEQ that it plans to make changes at Riverbend Landfill; we’ve asked for clarification. We have not heard about plans to close the landfill.”

Riverbend last updated its closure plan in 2017, but Darling noted that actually closing down woud require a permit that Riverbend has not applied for.

Lang said the change “is necessary due to delays related to our expansion. As the community is aware, the spaces has been constrained for some time, due to the expansion delays.

“Much of the usable space that remains is along the outside slopes, which are best suited for soils, rather than waste.”

Lang promised to have more information later on Friday.

As recently as April, Lang had told the News-Register that “The remaining life at Riverbend depends on the amount of waste we accept as we move forward. That’s the key variable. The amount of waste we receive varies each day. With the space remaining within the currently permitted area, Riverbend could continue to operate for another 20 years and perhaps longer.”

The News-Register will update the story as more information becomes available.



Is there really no closure notice requirements in any of the permits or contracts? ...I find that hard to believe..... seems like a court order might be useful until other arrangements can be implemented....
24 hour notice?....Thanks for nothing Waste Management....


For me it looks like another move from “Tricky J Lang” to put pressure on Recology and the involved cities ? As long as DEQ has no final written statement from Riverbend I don’t believe any statements from JL


I see what you mean GRM.....Ms Lang states in April that the operation has room for 20 plus years and 2 months later they announce a closure?.....Appears Ms Lang’s credibility is lacking...


Ms Lang is on the side of whomever pays her the most $$$.


They are trying to make us suffer by causing inconvenience. It's a racket that's for sure. Probably mafia with the hold they have on most politicians. Thank goodness YC officials and judges finally woke up. There are many things we like to do or have because it's easy but it's not always best for us or our world. They should not expand. It's on a river for crying out loud. Just because there are rules about what you can dispose of doesn't mean people follow them. The old dump across the river poisoned many farms and their residents downstream with arsenic for years....You think that's not happening now?


Read the Tuesday edition. They will not give up. Let’s cross fingers that the case is not going back to the county again. Then we all know what is coming up.

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