Pandemic Shifts Waste In Lane County

Feb 15, 2021

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. 

Transfer sites like Short Mountain have had an increase in individual users during the pandemic. Some have even had an additional 1,000 loads a week. While there are likely several causes, one might be people having more time to clean out the attic and do home improvement projects.
Credit Lane County Waste Management

  

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.