If you would like to comment on the IMERF please email email@example.com by December 5th. If you would like to testify in person it will be at Harris Hall (125 East 8th Avenue Eugene) 9am on December 5th.
Lane County’s Integrated Material and Energy Recovery Facility
Operated by Bulk Handling Systems
What is an IMERF (Integrated Material and Energy Recovery Facility)?
Is a name developed by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) and Lane County for the proposed $150,000,000 solid waste sorting facility proposal. This proposal would sort solid waste for material that can be recovered and/or processed, which diverts these materials from directly going to the landfill. Additionally, BHS has proposed adding a Commingled Recycling offering competitive pricing for dumping commingled recycling. Lane County is looking to cite the IMERF in Goshen.
Financials: The current proposal to pay for the IMERF includes guaranteed tipping fee increases and possibly tax credits, grants, and speculative profitability.
- The building and land is $50,000,000. Lane County is looking to get $15,000,000 in federal tax credits and finance the remaining $35,000,000 by issuing a bond in Spring 2024.
- $100,000,000 to be paid for upfront by financing secured by BHS.
- There are possible grants and tax credits that Lane County is suggesting they can find to offset cost increases in the future.
- All financing will be paid back by tipping fee. First increases for the operation of IMERF and rental of BHS Equipment over 25 years. Tipping fee increases for the first 4 years, of an increase of 11% every year for 2 years, then 9% for the following 2 year. This would likely result in a 46% increase just in tipping fee increases. That means the current rate (2023) increases from $91.32 to $133.67 in 2027.
- All Waste Haulers oppose the IMERF proposal and told the county they would notify their customers when price increases go into effect. The haulers have provided much more comprehensive data on actual impacts and have met with the county to explain the real impacts. One hauler calculated a 30.7% price increase over 6 years for residential customers. Commercial customers will be higher increases based on inputs to the cost of services.
- EPUD who collects methane off Short Mountain, has not been contacted or credited for their work at Short Mountain.
- Other Recyclers, Garten Services, International Paper, and Ecosort, have pointed out that the comingle recycling line on the IMERF is a competitive advantage achieved by government funding. They all claim this will result in job losses for their company.
- The IMERF does not allow for any new items to be recycled. Recycled items are regulated by the Recycling Modernization Act (2021).
- Solid Waste Material Recovery Facilities have struggled throughout the United States because the contamination of materials recovered vs clean materials that are pre-sorted. Oregonians have a very high diversion rate already due to mature recycling programs and the bottle bill (88% of bottles get recycled in Oregon as compared to the national average of 35%). https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2022/10/19/montgomery-recycling-center-al-sell-37-million-dollar-facility-alabama/69573085007/
Lane County Staff will present to the Board of Commissioners on November 28th and December 5th on fee increases, land purchase, and BHS contract for operating, rental, and possible flow guarantee. If Lane County moves forward with the IMERF, the IMERF will take priority over other capital improvements for the Waste Management Division at Lane County (Leachate Pipeline, Glenwood Transfer Station, etc.)