Comments, Concerns or Complaints about the landfill? Noise? Odor? Roadside trash? Litter blowing from trucks? Landfill activity outside hours of operation? Something else? Below are some options to make them known, but SWAC (the Solid Waste Advisory Council) requests you also make them aware. It is important that these get documented.

First, email SWAC:

Send your comments/concerns/complaints to Daniel Redick (Benton County Solid Waste & Water Quality coordinator) Daniel.redick@co.benton.or.us and put “Attn: SWAC” in the subject line.

In the body, be sure to state that you want your comment/concern/complaint to be added to the SWAC “packet” (this is the packet of documents provided to the members in advance of meetings; it also makes sure your issue becomes part of the public record – i.e., documentation!)

Then, alert the powers-that-be:

Start by filing a complaint with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Use this form to report on any issue you have with the landfill (odors, noise, ugliness, trash, etc. – it’s all ‘pollution’ to DEQ). Scroll down on this page for the “Online complaint form”:

https://www.oregon.gov/deq/Get-Involved/Pages/File-Pollution-Complaint.aspx

You can file your form anonymously.

Interestingly, Republic Services has an online “Odor Report Form” but it is only for the PRC (Pacific Region Composting) facility, not the dump.

If you want to vent (or if online forms are not for you):

For “landfill-related issues” you can “call” them… (541) 745-5792

or “call” the County (541) 766-6819, but what kind of record is kept? Go ahead and call if you like, but also please email SWAC as described above, so that we have that documented record.

The new Trash Talk workgroup

The best way to stay abreast of the TrashTalk workgroup (TTWG) is to attend the meetings (virtually or in person). To get on an elist to be notified of when they happen, email BOTH Daniel Redick (Benton County Community Development Dept. Solid Waste & Water Quality Program Coordinator) and Sam Imperati (Workgroup facilitator) and ask to be added to the notification list for all TrashTalk activities (see Calendar for future meeting dates). Eight meetings twice a month through December was the original plan but that has changed — now they will run into March and they’ve added a ninth one. If you’re on the notification list, typically you will receive an email the week before a scheduled meeting. NOTE: they have also created subcommittees which meet more often (see TTWG homepage – link below). Although you CAN attend them, you will NOT be notified of subcommittee meeting schedules (County is making it difficult for public participation!) nor can you comment at them. You can only comment at general meetings. (It may be possible for you to submit written comment targeted for a specific subcommittee but the hurdles are high. Contact Sam Imperati, above, and press him for specifics! Tell him you’re a member of the public who wishes to send comment to a particular subcommittee and then ask him how to do so. He should comply.)

Here is the link to the TTWG homepage:
https://www.co.benton.or.us/cd/page/solid-waste-process-work-group

(Agendas, materials and video recordings of prior TrashTalk meetings are available on this site, though it has been our experience that this site is not always kept up to date.)

SWAC/DSAC:

SWAC (Solid Waste Advisory Council) meetings take place the 4th Wednesday of each month and start at 6:00 pm. They are open to the public.

DSAC (Disposal Site Advisory Committee) meetings are only quarterly. They are held in conjunction with SWAC meetings, so are also on Wednesdays at 6pm.

They are currently held online via “GoToMeeting” (not Zoom). For logistical information on how to attend, email (or call) Linda Ray, Benton County Community Development Dept. Admin Specialist. Linda.Ray@Co.Benton.OR.US   541-766-6819

The best way to go is to email her and ask to be put on the notification list for future SWAC meetings. You will then receive an email 5-7 days before the the meeting, and be given current information about how to attend.

Benton County Board of Commissioners:

The Board of Commissioners holds their weekly board meeting every Tuesday starting at 9am. You can tune in virtually or attend in person. Agendas for these meetings are generally posted online a week before the meeting. To see an agenda/attend virtually, go to their webpage https://www.co.benton.or.us/boc and then to their calendar (in the left-hand sidebar, or click here). The link to their virtual meeting is embedded in the top of each meeting’s agenda. You do not need to pre-register to attend OR comment. Note that the Public Comment period is always at the very beginning of each meeting, so if you want to speak you need to be prepared.

Here’s how to view videos of Benton County Board Meetings:
·       On the Benton County YouTube channel, under “playlists”, there is a playlist of videos of the BOC meetings. Videos upload to YouTube within a few hours after the meeting. No account or signup is needed to view these.
o   Playlist link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxkQOCH37N7peQblIeSSV7l_tyofkD2iD
·       Meetings are livestreamed on the Benton County Facebook page, and the recording stays up afterwards. To find all the past videos listed, go to “More” and then “videos”. A Facebook account is needed to access these.
o   Benton County Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BentonCoGov/

Oregon’s new Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act:

Here’s information about it on DEQ’s website:
https://www.oregon.gov/deq/recycling/pages/modernizing-oregons-recycling-system.aspx

Here’s a good explanatory article on Rogue Disposal and Recycling’s website (they’re down by Medford):
https://roguedisposal.com/resources/education/recycling/oregons-new-recycling-modernization-act-updates-and-overhauls-oregons-recycling-system

Institute for Energy Resource Management:

This amazing group’s focus is entirely on renewable energy and sustainable resource management.

https://ie-rm.org

State Representative Dan Rayfield:

Dan Rayfield is our representative in the Oregon state government (we are in House District 16).

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/rayfield