Garbage has been in the news lately. On Thursday, a judge in Richland blocked large shipments of trash from Hawaii from going to a landfill in eastern Washington. This happened after the Yakama Nation filed a lawsuit claiming the garbage would bring with it significant environmental risks.
Just across the Columbia River, the Oregon town of Arlington has enjoyed a relatively low unemployment rate compared to the rest of the state, thanks in large part to the landfill that employs locals and supports businesses run by many of its 610 residents. And they’re not alone. Many rural economies are driven by the business of garbage.
While Arlington welcomed the jobs and revenue the garbage business brought with it in the late 1908s, some people object to living and working near landfills. Many Willamette Valley winemakers are unhappy about a recent proposal to increase the size of a landfill in Yamhill County.
Do you work for a waste management company? Do you know where your garbage goes? What role does trash play in your local economy?
- Michael Lang: Conservation director for Friends of the Columbia Gorge
- Kevin Barry: Director of the Klickitat County health department and acting director of the Klickitat County solid waste department
- Dennis Gronquist: Gilliam County commissioner, former mayor of Arlington and terminal manager for Walsh Trucking at the Arlington location
- Ramsey McPhillips: Owner of McPhillips Farms and member of Waste Not of Yamhill County
- Jackie Lang: Director of sustainability and community outreach for Waste Management