Metro announces new operator for transfer station
For the first time since it opened in 1990,
operations at the Metro Central solid waste transfer station
are changing hands. Metro and Recology Oregon Recovery Inc. have
signed an estimated $38 million, 7-year contract that will signal
considerable changes for the northwest Portland facility that
takes in trash and recyclables from commercial waste haulers,
businesses and residents.
Following a thorough evaluation by an interagency evaluation
team, Metro determined that Recology had the best and most competitive
proposal to manage Metro Central. The decision to award the contract
to Recology was based primarily on its guarantee to double the
rate of materials recycled, the company’s robust sustainability
plan, which includes reducing its carbon footprint and improved
opportunities for employees at the station – all without significant
increase in costs.
Recology initially plans to employ 46 workers, but that number
will likely rise to 59 as activities increase. The pay for entry
level positions will be higher than current pay levels at the
station, and Recology will provide health benefits as well as
community service days for employees. The contract with Metro
also requires Recology to work with vendors that are either local,
third-party certified (such as the Green Seal for environmental
standards) or members of the Minority, Women, and Emerging Small
While residents who have their garbage and recycling picked up
at the curb will not see any immediate changes, and Metro expects
little to no impact on disposal rates, modifications will be
made to improve services at the station to allow Recology to
double the current rate of recycling from 17 percent to 34 percent
by the end of the first year of operations, and to 40 percent
by the end of the contract in 2017. Stepping up the recovery
of cardboard, wood and metal will make up much of that increase.
Recology also plans to accept new materials at Metro Central,
including asphalt roofing and clean drywall.
In the agreement with Metro, Recology has outlined aggressive
plans to improve sustainable operations for the transfer station
and to cut greenhouse gas emissions to become carbon-neutral
by 2015. The plans include running the station solely on wind
power purchased through PGE’s Clean Wind program and implementing
an energy efficiency plan for the facility. Changing traffic
flow and some handling of materials will reduce vehicle idling
and the use of B5 biodiesel and diesel catalytic converters on
equipment used on site will cut down emissions.
Recology will also look at reducing water usage and replacing
toxic solvents and lubricants with more environmentally friendly
ones. Metro requires Recology to monitor and report on the progress
of its sustainable practices through the life of the contract
by implementing an industry-approved environmental management
system at the transfer station.
Recology is one of three companies that submitted proposals to
run operations at the regional solid waste transfer stations
owned by Metro. Allied Waste Transfer Services of Oregon, LLC,
the current operator of both Metro transfer stations, and GreenWaste
Zanker also submitted proposals.
The agreement with Recology involves only operations at Metro
Central. In the past both transfer stations were managed by one
company, but Metro determined that since the two transfer stations
are different in design and operation that it would be more effective
to separate operations. Central’s size and layout offers more
opportunities to recover and recycle materials, while the layout
of Metro South makes it less flexible, limiting options to expand
recovery at the site.
Metro expects to complete a contract on its South Station in
Oregon City soon; a notice of intent to award operations to Allied
Waste has been filed. The current contracts at both stations
expired March 31, 2010.