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Benton Planning Commission considers proposed landfill expansion

City of Lake Oswego

Benton County planners will decide soon whether to allow the expansion of a regional landfill north of Corvallis.

The Coffin Butte Landfill towers over Highway 99W. Every single day it takes in about 2,500 of trash, mostly from six western Oregon counties. That’s according to Republic Services, which says it’s running out of room. The company wants to expand the landfill, potentially adding another 12 years to its usable life.

The proposal won initial approval from the Benton County Solid Waste Advisory Council. It’s chair, Jay Simpkins, said the region’s trash has to go somewhere.

“A landfill is a necessary evil, if you want to call it that," he said during an October meeting of the council. "But we are a trash-producing society. That’s not going to change in our lifetime.”

Opponents to the expansion proposal, including people who live near the property, say the facility generates bothersome odors and truck traffic. Some residents also object to a plan to close a county-maintained road to accommodate the expansion.

The proposal now goes before the Benton County Planning Commission. The agency is holding a public hearing Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.

It's too late to sign up for present oral testimony, but the agency is still accepting written testimony on the proposal.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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