Waste Management Projects

Sunrise Sun above the ocean of garbage

Short Mountain Landfill

Support the Integrated Material and Energy Recovery Facility (IMERF) near Short Mountain Landfill

Your support is needed to keep 80,000 Tons of Waste Out of Lane County every Year!

Submit written comments by Nov. 27th!

We need your Support
Our healthier future hangs in the balance! On December 5, 2023, the Lane County Commissioners will decide the fate of a proposal to build a new advanced waste processing facility to keep recyclables and organic materials out of our public landfill.

A yes vote will make Lane County a leader in waste reduction, recycling, greenhouse gas reduction and job creation! But a no vote will keep Lane County in the dark ages of ever-higher garbage mountains that smell, leak climate-driving methane, and generate toxic leachate that pollutes rivers.

Please take 5 minutes to help make sure 80,000 tons of garbage will be diverted from Short Mountain Landfill every year by supporting a new publicly-owned state-of-the-art Integrated Material and Energy Recovery facility!

We need your help NOW to urge a YES vote to build a modern waste processing facility! This is Lane County’s chance to showcase advanced waste recovery, which will draw visitors from around the world and encourage more high-quality manufacturing jobs in Lane County.

You can make a difference for future generations. Consider giving spoken testimony at a County Commissioner’s meeting on November 28 or December 5 by zoom or in person. It’s also critical to send an email before November 30th.

How to Submit Testimony

See Talking Points and Sample Testimony below


WHAT: Lane County Board of Commissioners Meetings
Subject: Lane County’s Opportunity to Be a Leader for Waste Recovery, Organics Diversion and Enhanced Recycling
WHEN: 2 opportunities for your testimony: November 28th or December 5th (the day of the vote!) 

Address for (in-person attendees):
Lane County Commissioners Chambers – Harris Hall
Public Service Building
125 E. 8th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401

Virtual participants must register in advance to give testimony during the public comment period (Zoom link for registration not available yet)

To submit written comment:
EMAIL diana.jones@lanecountyor.gov by no later than noon the day before the scheduled meeting (deadline for meeting 1: Nov. 27 or deadline for meeting 2: Dec. 4). In the email subject line please include: "Public comment for Nov. 28th" (or Dec. 5th depending on your preference).


Why is it important to keep food and yard waste out of the landfill?

Organic material in the landfill decays anaerobically - producing methane, carbon dioxide, and other trace gasses. Methane and carbon dioxide are categorized as pollutants due to their warming potential in the atmosphere. Methane can build up at a landfill and result in massive leaks to the atmosphere. Additionally, carbon monoxide and particulates are produced when landfill gas is burned as fuel at the current gas-to-energy facility. The proposed waste processing facility would improve local air quality by reducing the output of gasses and particulates from the landfill.

Why is it important to reduce the amount of waste materials going to the landfill?

Every landfill has a “lifespan” after which it must be closed down. With the proposed facility, Lane County can achieve a materials recovery rate over 70% and extend the remaining life of the County’s municipal solid waste landfill by more than 20 years. This important action will help prevent creating more environmental and climate problems today that will harm the next generations!

How will the waste recovery facility improve water quality?

As moisture moves downward through a landfill, it creates toxic leachate. To prevent contamination of groundwater with heavy metals and forever chemicals, the leachate must be collected and disposed of, at great cost to the public. Short Mountain collects the leachate oozing from the landfill, pipes it to holding tanks, and send millions of gallons by truck it to the Eugene Municipal Waste Water Processing Plant to be released to the Willamette River. Diverting 80,000 tons of trash every year will reduce the amount of leachate that must be dumped into the Willamette River, home to salmon and the source of drinking water for many Oregonians living downstream.

Why make this investment now?

The construction cost to Lane County is only $35 million which will be paid for by construction bonds repaid by small increases in garbage rates. For less than a $2 increase in monthly garbage rates over 2-4 years, today’s generation can invest in modern, advanced technology that will help reduce environmental pollution and climate-driving greenhouse gas emissions.


Choose 3 or 4 from these eight important points to tell your County Commissioner in your spoken or written testimony:

  • This project will prevent 80,000 tons of trash every year from going to Lane County’s Short Mountain Landfill.

  • Diverting trash to a waste recovery facility will extend the lifetime capacity of Short Mountain by 20 years.

  • Removing organic material from waste will prevent 77% of county’s methane emissions.

  • This facility will effectively capture the methane and convert it into 1.3 million diesel gallon equivalent of biogas per year via anaerobic digestion.

  • This project creates local, sustainable economic development because the Integrated Material and Energy Recovery facility will be designed and constructed by the local company Bulk Handling Systems.

  • This green-economy project will create almost 200 construction jobs and 65 ongoing family wage jobs.

  • Advanced materials processing equipment to recover recyclable materials from solid waste that would have been buried in the landfill.

  • All of these benefits current and future generations can be had by increasing residential garbage rates for less than the cost of a cup of regular coffee per month!


Dear Chair Farr and Lane County Commissioners, 

My name is (your name here) and I am (organization, job title, life experience that may be relevant to your testimony). I live in (state your city/district) and I feel strongly that Lane County should vote to approve the Integrated Material and Energy Recovery Facility. The IMERF would be a state-of-the-art facility that would divert 80,000 tons of recyclables and organic waste every year from going into the county’s Short Mountain Landfill. Reducing the amount of waste in landfills would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from entering the environment and contributing to climate change and pollution of our land and water. With this technology, we can keep the landfill from expanding and extend its life by 20 years. I see this as a worthwhile investment in achieving Lane County’s leadership in waste management. 

Not only would the IMERF divert thousands of tons of waste, but it would produce renewable natural gas by converting organic waste into fuels that can be used in public transportation fleets.The IMERF would benefit Lane County economically as well as it would create nearly 200 construction jobs and 65 family-wage jobs for Lane County residents. I believe it is time for the county to invest in clean energy and waste management practices for future generations. The cost to residents like me is low and will increase only gradually over two years. It's a valuable investment for me as a resident that waste is handled efficiently and produces economic benefits for the county. 

I’m also excited by the fact that the IMERF plans include a Visitor and Education Center for schools or community groups to learn more about waste management practices and how we can better use technologies like the IMERF in the future.  

As someone who is passionate about climate action as well as economic development, I urge the commissioners to vote “yes” on construction of the IMERF. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sign your name and address.

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