The Benton County Board of Commissioners plans to work with the community on long-term solid waste planning. (Photo by valentynsemenov via Canva)

The Benton County Board of Commissioners invites the community to “talk trash” this fall by participating in Benton County Talks Trash. The board directed county staff to follow recently released recommendations addressing a wide range of issues relating to solid waste and its disposal in the mid-Willamette Valley, including the future of the Coffin Butte landfill.

As a first step the board will appoint a community-based work group to recommend a framework and processes for long-term solid waste planning. The county has also hired a third-party facilitator from Oregon Consensus to help the work group lay out the path forward. Oregon Consensus supports collaboration by examining and weighing diverse viewpoints and interests to find commonalities.

“This is an important conversation for the future of our community,” Benton County Board Chair Nancy Wyse said in a news release. “We look forward to working with community members, neighboring communities and our landfill operators on constructive solutions for a responsible solid waste future in Benton County.”

Commissioners are asking community members to serve on the work group and are encouraging nominations by Aug. 19. The board aims to select a balanced group of eight members with a variety of perspectives to serve formally and is encouraging public participation.

The work group will kick-off in late August and continue meeting through mid-December. Those who would like to be considered for participation on the work group are asked to contact Benton County Community Development Director Darren Nichols at Darren.Nichols@co.benton.or.us or 541-766-6819.