October 30, 2012
To: Washington County Board of Commissioners October 2, 2012
The petitions that you have received in your packet contain approximately 500 signatures from citizens that have been adversely impacted by the stench coming from the Recology/Natures Needs facility adjacent to North Plains.
Even as Recology continues to make improvements to the compost site it is very clear that they are unable to control odors even with reduced tonnage. As recently as last week people were forced back into their homes, the air was so bad it was impossible to work in the garden. A neighbor told me that the stench burned her sinuses and made her feel nauseous. I‘ve heard this from more than one resident.
Kim’s Styling Corner on Glencoe Rd. can’t leave the doors open on a hot day; the dentist office complained that the stench comes in under the door and when I was attending a meeting at the nearby café the odor came in the back door when it was left open for fresh (!) air to come in. The odor does nothing to encourage customers to patronize local restaurants.
I recently met Bertony Faustin the owner of Abbey Creek Winery. He is opening a wine tasting room on Commercial Street and is very concerned about how the odor will affect his new business. The busiest months for him will be during the grape harvest, coinciding with the highest level of stench from Recology. It is unlikely that a lot of people touring vineyards will stop in N Plains after smelling the odor from Recology on the freeway. Yet another business threatened by Recology.
As a rural resident I have had to abandon my outdoor activities and go inside on the really stinky days. Cleaning out my barn after a long winter of lambing can’t even compare to the smell coming from this compost site.
This adversely affects our livelihoods, property values and the future of North Plains. This is a lovely area to live. A friend dropped by on Sunday morning when there was no smell. She said, “This place is special”. We would all like to see it stay that way.
I am requesting that the Washington County Board of Commissioners deny Recology/Natures Needs acceptance of Type 3 feedstock from the franchise agreement.
Please let’s keep this community a place where we are proud to live and work.
13741 NW Jackson Quarry Rd.
Hillsboro, OR 97124
To: Washington County Commissioners September 28, 2012
First know that virtually everyone involved with the “Stop the Stink” effort supports the concept of composting.What we are objecting to in this instance is the following;Recology, the 7th largest garbage company in the US, with no ties to this area, has been allowed to place a composting site immediately adjacent to a population center in an area with potentially very valuable real estate.
Recology is using a hot composting method, a dated and outmoded method, which has no history of being able to successfully and consistently control odors and vectors.
The odors are being created in large part by food waste being generated not by
N Plains residents but by Portland residents and businesses.
The transport of this waste involves extensive travel on already overcrowded highways, spews diesel fumes and spills waste along the way, surely offsetting some of the green benefits.
Once it arrives at the site adjacent to N Plains it often creates an overwhelming odor that blankets parts of the town in a suffocating cloud. There are other issues as well, flies, rats, etc. but odor is the main issue.
These are short quotes from letters we have received and have included in your packets:
The first is from the owner of Pacific Tile and Stone. “We have had customers turn away from coming out , referring to N Plains as the “stinking town.” I’ve stopped calling (complaints) it just makes me angry.”
The second is from the owner of British Auto Works. “There have been numerous days when it is uncomfortable for my crew to work and is embarrassing to have customers in the store”.
The third is from a rural resident who banks, has her hair done. her car worked on and volunteers in N Plains. “the odor is so overwhelming and so unpleasant that if Recology stays we will disengage from N Plains and do our business in Banks and in Portland.”
We have talked to nearly all of the business owners in N Plains and many of them express concern that their businesses and their property values are being damaged. They wonder why so many businesses that have been located in N Plains for years are being damaged by another business with no history in this community, few employees, and one which makes virtually no contribution of any significance to N Plains.
That this business has been allowed to be sited next to a population center, in one of the potentially richest regions of the state qualifies as one of those political blunders like allowing a freeway to be placed on riverfront property as happened in Portland.
This is one of the richest counties in the State and this area could be one of the richest areas. There are business giants such as Intel and many others virtually next door to us.
Hillsboro is experiencing positive growth with an increase in small businesses and a thriving downtown area. With the placement of this one business, N Plains has been doomed to second class status. Ghettoized by garbage.
If this food waste amendment is not denied, a large area right in the middle of a region with enormous potential for growth and development will be blighted and relegated to lower property values, low income housing and failing small businesses.
Because no matter what Recology says and no matter what they do, they will not be able to consistently control the odor. They have made a lot of onsite improvements and the stench is still terrible. If pressed, Dave Dutra will admit that the odor is always going to be a problem.
Recology is an enormous company, it is not going to be seriously financially damaged by having the food waste amendment denied. There are businesses in N Plains that might not survive another year with this burden on top of other challenges.
At the last Commissioners meeting where this was discussed, Commissioner Malinowski said that N Plains would not be sacrificed, we hope that is true.
Please do what is best and what is right for your constituents and for this areas long-term future. Don’t approve this food waste amendment, end it this December. Leave a positive legacy for us and for yourselves.
16007 NW Mason Hill RD
N Plains, OR 97133