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Help us STOP the Landfill Expansion

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UPDATE June 20, 2024: It has begun - Republic Services is applying again to expand the landfill. Please be as generous as you can! We estimate this next round could cost us $15K or more, so every contribution helps!

We learned a lot during Round 1, and have learned WAY MORE since — none of it good. The situation is the same, only now the costs are higher:

Many of us have been paying out of pocket for things like signage and mailings and website costs — and spent countless volunteer hours on the County’s “Solid Waste Process Workgroup” in 2023 trying to help steer the county (futilely, sadly) in a direction that at least *considers* a future beyond landfilling — so we can really use your help for the big-ticket items. Not only do we need money to pay our attorney, but the fees alone for an appeal, if we end up being the ones having to appeal, have jumped from $4000 to $10,000! And that’s just the first level of appeal.

With your help we won before, so we are hopeful that with your help we can do so again! No donation is too small!

Thanks ever so much!
- Debbie

PS - for context, or if you are new to this gofundme campaign, please read below for our original posting. We don’t have the funds to hire PR; this is as grass-roots as it gets!

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[From 2021]
Our community group is fighting a scheme that would vastly expand the local landfill. If this scheme goes through, it will have serious consequences for our community, our county — and the climate. Your contribution will help support our organizing efforts (signs, mailers, print and radio spots, social media etc.) as well as help pay for an attorney to represent us, as it could be a long drawn-out fight. This is truly a David vs. Goliath situation. The environmental impact would be huge (see below). Thank you for reading this!
 
It’s bad enough that this landfill exists where it does — as a relic of World War II, it was never properly sited to begin with – it’s next to a highway, a wildlife preserve, residences, and so on. So to make the landfill half again as big as it currently is is just a bad idea for starters. Plus, the proposed expansion would permanently close and bury (literally under a mountain of garbage) a county road which is a key wildfire/emergency exit for our community. Our resistance starts there, but the more we research, the more it’s becoming clear that this scheme goes beyond local into regional and global impact.
 
The landfill company has no projections of its own about the overall damage their scheme would do in terms of additional greenhouse gases. However, we have done our own homework, using publicly available data and analysis from state environmental agencies, NASA, and the EPA. We project the scheme would leak in the vicinity of 100 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere. In terms of greenhouse gas, this expansion would be like starting up a coal-fired power plant that burns one-and-a-half million tons of coal a year and runs without stopping for 40 years.
 
The deep problem is that it rains a lot on this landfill, which is bad: wet landfills produce more greenhouse gases – especially methane, which is probably the worst greenhouse gas out there. So the idea of expanding this landfill by 50% is really short-sighted and is being done exclusively to profit the landfill owner, an out-of-state mega-corporation. (Benton County doesn’t need the expansion; its share of waste going into the landfill is 12% and declining; the scheme’s big goal is to open the door wider to waste being trucked in from afar.)
 
Plus this expansion scheme would leave our county with a ticking time bomb for our groundwater as the landfill sits right on the water table (another reason it’s a horrible landfill site). The landfill expansion would turn the rain into toxic leachate basically for the next thousand years (or until Oregon becomes a desert, whichever comes first).
 
Because of these fatal flaws (and others), it’s pretty much impossible to get a new landfill approved in our whole region. You’d have to figure out a solution to the problems in order to do so. BUT the landfill owners have found a loophole – legally they’re asserting this is not a “new” landfill but an expansion of an existing one. And our county government frankly needs help to oppose the scheme, which is where we come in.
 
We don't have attorneys on staff, hired consultants, and PR employees; we are just a group of people trying to protect our neighbors – their livelihoods, their families, their lives and their futures. So far, against all odds, we have prevailed against a company with $10.15 billion in annual gross revenues; we have prevailed because of our passion, our knowledge, and because we are right. But we need money. Please help us thwart this Goliath!
 
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If you would like to read more details before making a contribution, please visit the website we’ve put together to try to gather all the facts on this scheme in one place. A big part of our mission is just finding out and publishing facts about the proposal, because the landfill owner is relying on a disinformation campaign.
 
Some basic facts/naming names/timeline:
We’re talking about the Coffin Butte Landfill, just outside of Corvallis, Oregon; it’s in Benton County. It’s owned and operated by Republic Services / Valley Landfills, Inc., based in Arizona. Our community group is Valley Neighbors for Environmental Quality and Safety (VNEQS). Historically the landfill has gotten 50 inches of rain a year on average. The “100 million tons of greenhouse gas” is a projection made using the latest data on how to calculate the amount of greenhouse gas that leaks from landfills over time.
 
The road that the scheme would permanently bury in garbage is Coffin Butte Road, a main route for the county. We could be doing this GoFundMe just on local impacts such as these; they are pretty egregious. Check our CoffinButteFacts website for more.
 
Our big win so far: the Benton County Planning Commission denied Republic’s application in December, in a unanimous decision. As of January 14, 2022, our next battle with Republic is their appeal of that 6-0 decision to the Benton County Board of Commissioners. This hearing could happen any time with little warning to us – so your prompt support (in any amount) would mean a lot!
 
If perchance we do not spend all of people’s contributions on this fight, we will donate any leftover funds to one or more non-profits doing environmental work in our county.
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  • Anonymous
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  • Anonymous
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    • 14 d
  • Anonymous
    • $250 
    • 16 d
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 17 d
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
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Organizer

Debbie Palmer
Organizer
Corvallis, OR

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