Landfill and Compost Facility Tour in Corvallis

By Nancye Ballard, Marys Peak Group (MPG) Outings Leader

Before we piled into the van to begin our tour. (L-R): Joanne Fitzgerald, Patti Dunning, John Dunning, Becky Garrett, Nancy Baumister in front of Leslie Hogan, Tour Guide Extraordinaire Jordan Trimmer, and Alexa St Clair.

On Friday afternoon, February 4, eight MPGers took advantage of the unseasonably mild weather to tour Coffin Butte Landfill and the Pacific Rim Compost facility, both north of Corvallis. Jordan Trimmer answered all of our questions and provided as much information as we needed without lapsing into tech speak. We watched as garbage from Portland was dumped into recently opened Cell 4. Learning about the ongoing monitoring of methane gas and about the methane processing operation which provides enough energy for several houses made the sight of so much, well, waste easier to contemplate.

At the compost facility in Adair, we witnessed Crambo, a chipping machine, producing organic waste suitable for compost. Jordan pointed out piles of compost in various stages: reducing the size of the particles isn’t enough to produce compost; heat must be generated in the piles. Temperatures are carefully monitored. Because some Allied Waste users are apparently unaware of what actually constitute organic waste, four employees removed inorganic material as the yard waste passes along a conveyor belt. Allied Waste sells the finished compost to landscape suppliers.

One participant observed later, “The tour could not have been better.” Because so many MPG members wanted to take it, we hope to schedule another one soon.  The Marys Peak Group of the Sierra Club has a diverse outings program, check out their calendar for upcoming outings:

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