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Pandemic Shifts Waste In Lane County

Lane County Waste Management

During the pandemic, the way we do many things, like eating out, has changed. The pandemic has also changed how Lane County’s waste systems are used. 


Both Lane County Waste Management and Sanipac have seen commercial waste decrease and residential waste increase since the pandemic began. 

One reason, says Aaron Donley from Sanipac, might be businesses that are temporarily closed.

“You know, people are... also tend to be ordering online so we’ve seen a good uptick of cardboard volumes residentially,” Donley said. “And then that corresponding decrease commercially.”  

Angie Marzano is a Lane County Waste Reduction Specialist who also owns Hot Mama’s Wings with her husband. 

“So, internally, we’re generating less waste,” said Marzano. “But we’re exporting that waste to the consumer to handle and process all of the to go packaging that we send our food out in.”

County transfer sites have had roughly 12-15 percent more users. Some days, Glenwood has experienced up to 50 percent more. 

Even with this increase, the overall tonnage of waste at the transfer sites has averaged a decrease of 7 percent from the previous year. 

The revenue from individual users does not offset the revenue decrease from commercial haulers, so overall revenue has averaged a decrease of 13 percent during the pandemic.  

Aubrey Bulkeley joined KLCC in January 2019. She co-created FLUX podcast, a three-part series to accompany award-winning UO School of Journalism and Communication publication, FLUX Magazine. Bulkeley finished her Master's degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon in June 2019.
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