CleanLane Resource Recovery Facility

On December 5, 2023, the Lane County Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 to build a state-of-the-art CleanLane Resource Recovery Facility in Goshen, Oregon. (Formerly referred to as the "IMERF" or Integrated Materials and Energy Recovery Facility.) CleanLane will be the most technologically advanced waste processing facility in the country and would utilize technology and equipment designed and built by a local manufacturer, Bulk Handling Systems.

The facility will process residential garbage, commingled recycling, and organic waste to produce marketable recycling commodities and biogas for transportation. The facility will divert over 80,000 tons of material from the County’s landfill annually and can serve as a regional recycling hub for southwest Oregon.

Project features:

  1. Advanced materials processing equipment to recover recyclable materials from solid waste headed to the landfill
  2. Sorting equipment for commingled recycling to reduce long haul shipment of locally collected recycling for processing
  3. Anaerobic digester to convert recovered organic wastes into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) for transportation fuel
  4. Visitor and Educational Center for schools, community groups and other interested residents and businesses

 

An architect's rendering of the IMERF facility shown over a photo of the property where it will be located.

CleanLane Resource Recovery Facility Updates

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General Questions

Why is Lane County building CleanLane?

CleanLane is an investment in our community’s future. Reducing the amount of material that goes into the Short Mountain Landfill will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prolong the life of the landfill.

 

The goals of the project are to:

  • 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 ratepayer.

 

Is there a benefit to the community?

Absolutely! Especially for future generations.

 

CleanLane represents a fundamental transformation for Lane County’s handling of municipal solid waste. Processing of waste to extract recyclables and energy is a major, comprehensive step forward. It will serve as a model for other counties in Oregon and across the country.

Project benefits include:

  • Mitigation of methane from Short Mountain Landfill - the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from County operations. Equivalent reduction of taking 20,000 cars off the road for the next 25 years.
  • Exceed a materials recovery rate of 63 percent and extend the remaining life of the County’s municipal solid waste landfill by more than 20 years.
  • Produce over 1 million diesel gallon equivalents per year of renewable natural gas (RNG). Fuel would be available for use in local transportation fleets and would have a negative carbon intensity under Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program.
  • Two-year construction project utilizing local companies – creating 190 high-paying manufacturing jobs during construction and 65 ongoing family wage jobs for the operation of the facility for the next 25 years.
  • Over $270 million in economic impacts benefiting Lane County over the life of the project.

Where will it be located?

In Goshen. The property doesn’t have a street address yet, but you can see it in the photo above. It’s between Highway 99 and Interstate 5.

When will it open?

Construction will start this year and we hope to have it open for business at the end of 2025.

Financial Questions

What is the cost?

The project is estimated to cost $150 million and will be shared by Lane County and Bulk Handling Systems.

Lane County will purchase the land and buildings to house the equipment.

  • Buildings cost: $50 million
  • Tax Credit: $15 million
  • Cost to Lane County = $35 million (50-15)


Lane County would issue a limited-tax bond in spring of 2024 to cover up-front costs. Bond will be paid back over time through revenue from landfill tipping fees. It will not affect property tax rates.

Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) will construct and install the equipment for the facility, including the anaerobic digester.

  • Equipment cost = $100 million

BHS will supply and operate the equipment and will generate revenue over time through waste processing fees, sale of recyclable commodities, and sale of biogas.

How will garbage rates be affected?

Lane County currently has some of the lowest garbage rates in the state – primarily because the County owns the Short Mountain Landfill that does not operate to make a profit.

Starting with low rates, the rate increases needed to fund the project would have a relatively low impact to the average residential customer. Lane County is proposing 8 percent fee increases in 2024 and 2025, followed by 6 percent increases in 2026 and 2027. This does not include the annual 3 percent fee increase that helps Lane County maintain current levels of service. The annual 3 percent increase is not related to CleanLane.

The landfill disposal cost is approximately 20 percent of a customer’s residential garbage bill - so, for most residents, these increases would amount to less than a $2 per month increase in the first two years of the project.


The County is seeking federal and state funding to help offset future increases. Rate impacts to commercial customers vary significantly depending on the amount of waste generated. Estimates provided by a large local hauler estimate an average increase of three percent per year for the next 4 years for the average commercial customer.

Low-income assistance is proposed to offset fee increases for self-haul customers at each of the 15 transfer stations operated by Lane County. Residents qualifying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would receive $1 off each load with their Oregon Trail (EBT) Card.

Is Lane County loaning money to a private company?

No. Lane County will not be loaning credit or money to a private company as part of this project.

 

Lane County will pay for the property and purchase the buildings to house the sorting equipment. Bulk Handling Systems will pay for the sorting equipment. Lane County is not loaning the private company anything.

 

For more detailed cost information please see the “What is the cost?” section on this page.

What does “limited-tax bond” mean? Will taxpayer see an increase in property taxes?

This project will not affect property tax rates. The County’s portion of the cost will be paid for through solid waste tipping fees. (The money Lane County Waste Management collects from haulers or residents when they bring garbage to one of our sites.)

 

A limited-tax bond means that Lane County will use its authority as a taxing district as collateral to receive a funding to purchase the buildings and pay that off using the tipping fees over several years. It is a common financial tool for public agencies. It’s sort of like taking out a second mortgage on your home; you put the value of your home up as collateral for up-front money and then pay it back over time.

Contract Questions

How did Bulk Handling Systems get selected for this project?

Lane County released a public request for proposals in March 2022. Bulk Handling Systems was one of three companies that responded and their proposal was rated the highest.

 

Large projects require a public bidding process to select contractors and other services. Lane County followed all the relevant procurement requirements in selecting Bulk Handling Systems.

Is the contract Lane County is getting ready to sign unconstitutional?

No. Lane County will not be loaning credit to a private company as part of this project.

 

Lane County will pay for the purchase of the property and buildings to house the sorting equipment. Bulk Handling Systems will pay for the sorting equipment. Lane County is not loaning the private company any credit.

 

For more detailed cost information please see the “Financial Questions” section on this page.

Why can’t we see the contract yet?

A very early draft contract was made public during a Board of County Commissioners meeting last year. That early version included template language and items that had not yet been negotiated.

 

Lane County continues to negotiate a final version of the contract with Bulk Handling Systems. Once completed, the final contract will become publicly available.

Other Questions

Is Lane County planning to use “flow control” to force waste haulers to use the new facility?

No. Lane County has taken no steps to use flow control with waste haulers. The County prefers to work with partners to manage waste in Lane County. The new facility should provide some operational efficiencies that haulers can appreciate: it will impact hauler routes minimally (it’s right down the road from the landfill), it will be faster to get in and out, and will reduce the need to transport recyclables hours away for processing. 


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