A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Republic drops landfill appeal, will try again

Written March 15th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The Coffin Butte landfill as seen from Camp Adair Road, across 99W, on March 4, 2022.

The conflict over a proposed expansion of the Coffin Butte landfill in north Benton County has entered a new and unexpected stage.

Republic Services has dropped its appeal of the county planning commission’s denial of a conditional use permit to expand the landfill across Coffin Butte Road. But the company will apply again.

The withdrawal was announced at a meeting this morning of the county commissioners, who had been scheduled to hear the appeal on March 21.

Republic apparently acted after the county had contacts with Republic’s headquarters in Arizona. This morning Commissioner Pat Malone thanked Darren Nichols, the county’s community development director, for his “behind the scenes efforts” with Republic officials in Phoenix.

In a letter received by Benton County last Friday, Republic withdrew its appeal and said it would file a new application in the near future, according to Nichols.

There was no clue whether the new application would differ from the one the planning commission unanimously rejected on Dec. 7, 2021. At two public hearings, dozens of neighbors and other Benton County residents spoke against the expansion. One of their objections was to the proposed closing of Coffin Butte Road, a main road into and out of the Soap Creek Valley.

State land use laws barred the commissioners from discussing Coffin Butte with the public while the appeal was pending. Now they are free to do so.

They may, for example, try to build public support for expanding the landfill or, as Malone said, explain why the dump can’t refuse to accept trash from outside the local area.

In a prepared statement, Board Chairwoman Nancy Wyse said: “My fellow commissioners and I were very pleased to hear that Republic is utilizing this opportunity to take more time to engage with our community to help shape a more constructive path for the future of solid waste.”

Republic could blunt much of the opposition by keeping Coffin Butte Road open and, instead, expanding the landfill into an area now being mined as a rock quarry. We’ll see if the company takes that approach when its new application is filed. (hh)

The Benton County commissioners and staff talk about the Coffin Butte issue during their virtual meeting Tuesday morning.







8 responses to “Republic drops landfill appeal, will try again”

  1. James Engel says:

    Can anyone tell me a logical, simple reason why Coffin Butte is taking in junk from the North??? Let them dig a hole in wine country and bury it there!!

  2. James Engel says:

    I’ll ask again. WHY do we have to take in junk from the north?! Let them wine growers in the north dig a hole in their own back yard!!

    • centrist says:

      Well, siting a landfill hasn’t been easy in decades. Given the potential for contaminating an aquifer with toxics and pathogens, a site has to be thoroughly analyzed.
      My recollection is that Coffin Butte is a regional facility. It has an identifiable end of use date. If it’s not extended or replaced, the alternative is likely Arlington.

  3. CHEZZ says:

    I hope Republic explores a new landfill.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Of course… But since we’re our own worst enemy in creating trash, would you accept a new site in Linn Co?

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Yes! Perfect. Just East of Albany along Hiway 20. Right next to or in that man made lake. Good spot!!

  4. CHEZZ says:

    I would think there must be some land that is appropriate between Arlington and Benton Co.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal apartments ARA Benton County bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park CARA City of Albany climate change COVID-19 Cox Creek Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village Highway 20 homeless housing Interstate 5 Linn County marijuana Millersburg Monteith Riverpark North Albany ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Boulevard Pacific Power Portland & Western Queen Avenue Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Waterfront Project Waverly Lake Willamette River

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering