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Washington County Votes To Stop North Plains Compost Project

The Washington County Commission voted Tuesday night to end an experiment in composting commercial food waste in North Plains. But as OPB’s Ecotrope blogger Cassandra Profita reports, the board stopped short of ending all food scrap composting.

The unanimous vote followed more than 1,500 odor complaints about the Nature’s Needs composting facility off Highway 26.

During a public hearing preceding the vote, residents of North Plains compared living near the site to having a dead animal on their front porch. Many told commissioners they want to eliminate all food waste from the composting facility, leaving only yard waste. David Hatcher is the mayor of North Plains.

He told them, “Composting next to a populated area doesn’t work. I think this experiment has shown that.”

But eliminating all food waste would force Nature’s Needs to close. Ultimately the commission voted to remove only commercial food scraps. Nature’s Needs operators say that should reduce odor problems. 

The company has until April first to move commercial food waste to a different facility.

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