BEND, Ore. - Deschutes County commissioners on Monday will review the results of a recent public opinion survey that found an overwhelming number of residents - 93 percent - favor building a new landfill somewhere in the county when Knott Landfill reaches capacity within the next decade, rather than send it elsewhere.
The other option presented in the survey was to truck the county's garbage to a regional landfill site near the Columbia River.
Deschutes County spends about $35 per ton of garbage to manage it at Knott Landfill. Officials say a new landfill would raise that cost to about $42 a ton.
Many of those surveyed by Triton Polling and Research said they were concerned about the emissions from trucking so much trash so far away. They also said keeping jobs in the county to build and run a new landfill are important.
More than 500 people were surveyed by phone in late June and early July, more than 83 percent of them by cellphone, with a 4.3 percent margin of error, the firm said.
In his issue summary to commissioners, Solid Waste Director Timm Schimke said the county's new solid waste management plan prepares for the closure of Knott, with the decision for replacement "the primary driver of the plan," which identifies more than $25 million in capital needs over the next decade.
Just over half of those surveyed said cost issues are just "one of many important factors" in the decision whether to build a landfill or truck the trash elsewhere.
More than 85 percent agreed and 46 percent strongly agreed with the statement that "trash that is generated here should stay here."
The survey noted that a new landfill would need 400 to 500 acres, meaning it "could displace other uses and may impact neighboring parcels of land, even in remote areas of the county." Asked if they would be "comfortable' with displacing other uses for a new landfill in the county, more than 77 percent of the respondents said they agreed or strongly agreed.
You can see the full survey results in the commissioners' Monday work session agenda packet.