By the roadside, a pile of yard debris – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

By the roadside, a pile of yard debris

Written June 13th, 2016 by Hasso Hering
Sunday evening, Metge Avenue: A reason to get off the bike and grab a shot.

Sunday evening, N.W. Metge Avenue: A reason to get off the bike and grab a shot.

It would be tempting to say that “The Shadow Knows.” Tempting but wrong. The man casting the shadow has no idea why someone would dump a load of brush trimmings by the side of the road and leave it there.

Maybe it was to avoid the dumping fee at Coffin Butte. Maybe he drove there, found out what it would cost and turned around. And maybe that wasn’t it at all. Maybe this whole batch fell off the top of the trailer and the driver didn’t notice.

It had been a few weeks that I took a load of yard clippings to the dump. I couldn’t remember what the charge had been, though I vaguely recalled thinking it was kind of stiff for a bunch of sticks that in the old days we would have burned in a corner of the yard.

Coffin Butte for some reason does not publish its dumping fees online. Instead, Republic Services’ website invites people to call a Corvallis number for the rates. I did that Monday and discovered that the local branch of Republic has not yet solved the service problem it told the Albany City Council about on May 9. After about seven or eight choruses of “All agents are assisting other customers …,” a helpful voice confirmed that for dumping yard debris the landfill charges $20 for up to 500 pounds. After that, it’s $30 a ton.

Five hundred pounds is more yard debris than most of us would have to dispose of at one time. And considering the service provided, and the hazards of burn piles at home avoided, it’s not an unreasonable charge. But Republic could save itself and its customers some time on the phone if it posted the landfill charges on the web. (hh)





6 responses to “By the roadside, a pile of yard debris”

  1. hj.anony1 says:

    Republic must live in pre-internet 20th century.

    The shadow image is interesting. Glad you addressed it in your open but what I’m really wondering is ……. No Kickstand?

  2. Jim Engel says:

    The other annoyance, on the topic of roadside debris, are the millions of stocks of field grass flying off the big rigs transporting bales. Hauling the bales from field to storage is one thing but after they dry & are then hauled un-tarped to processing plants makes for a mess along along the side of the roads. And those stocks don’t degrade over time…JE

  3. George Pugh says:

    Actually, the straw does degrade over time but because the supply is replenished on such a regular basis it would be easy to think otherwise. The carbon to nitrogen ratio does not favor rapid composting.
    The straw export market has been a savior to the grass seed farming industry in the valley. While not all of the acres of post harvest grass straw is baled, it has been a good, if not consistent outlet for straw that can no longer be burned.

    • Jim Engel says:

      All due respect Mr Pugh, but, were I to drive my PU loaded with leaves (biodegradable) flying out uncovered on my way to Coffin Butte I do believe I’d be cited. Yes, the “re-purposing” of the straw is a good thing but they need to be TARPED headed to the processor. Ever get behind one of those big rigs on the I-5 with those mini spears flying off?..JE

  4. Bill Higby says:

    Hasso I also have a one grey can rule. I fudge a little by using a Grand Daughter to jump up and down and compact the yard debris, but in general one grey can and I am done with yard work. I understand that for a somewhat nominal charge I could get another one, or for a larger load (and that is more work than I want to do) Republic will bring out a great big can. Too bad there is not a local goat service, add chickens to that for removing slugs and snails.


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