Board of County Commissioners votes to build materials recovery facility for solid waste

Board of County Commissioners votes to build materials recovery facility for solid waste
Posted on 12/05/2023

The Lane County Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 to begin the process to build an Integrated Materials & Energy Recovery Facility (IMERF) in Goshen. 


The IMERF will be the most technologically advanced waste processing facility in the country and will be designed and built by a local manufacturer, Bulk Handling Systems (BHS). The facility will process residential garbage, commingled recycling, and organic waste to produce marketable recycling commodities and biogas for transportation. The facility is expected to divert over 80,000 tons of material from the County’s landfill annually and expand the life of the landfill for at least 20 years past its current 70-year lifespan. 


“This is an exciting opportunity for our community,” said Public Works Director Dan Hurley. “Not only will this project help us reduce the amount of material that ends up in the landfill, increase the amount we can recycle, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of taking 30,000 cars off the road, it will also create local jobs. We expect the two-year construction period to create 190 jobs and to have 65 ongoing family-wage positions to operate the IMERF after it opens.”


The IMERF will:

  • significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill.
  • divert recyclable materials from waste that would otherwise be landfilled.
  • create local, sustainable economic development and jobs.
  • use proven recycling processing systems.
  • leverage public-private partnerships.
  • construct and operate at an affordable cost to the rate-payer. 


“There are no other sorting facilities like this in Lane County,” said Hurley. “Currently, there is limited processing to extract cardboard and metals locally, but the majority of materials are transported all the way to the Portland area for processing.”


The total expected cost of the project is $150 million. Bulk Handling Systems will pay for $100 million (building and installing the sorting equipment). Lane County will be responsible for the remaining $50 million; however, a $15-million-tax credit will reduce the local cost to $35 million. Additional grants and outside funding may reduce the local cost further. 


Lane County will increase solid waste disposal fees to help fund a portion of the project. For the average residential customer, the total increase in cost related to this facility would be approximately $2.30 per month phased in over a four-year period.


More information is available at

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