Landfill lead

Workers dump industrial waste at the Headquarters Landfill run by Cowlitz County.

Bill Wagner, The Daily News

Cowlitz County Commissioners Arne Mortensen and Joe Gardner on Tuesday agreed to extend the deadline for private companies’ proposals to manage the Headquarters Landfill. The third commissioner, Dennis Weber, was not present at the weekly commissioner meeting where the decision was made.

Commissioners pushed back the original Sept. 14 deadline to Sept. 28 because multiple corporations requested the extension, and a couple want to tour the landfill, Gardner said.

The request for proposals does not specifically solicit a lease or sale of the landfill, saying the county wants to evaluate “private contract arrangements as a possible approach to achieving county objectives for the landfill.” Among the objectives is that the county gains financially and that the landfill be operated in an “excellent” manner.

The request for proposals asks private contractors to outline whether they would use the landfill to dispose of waste from outside the county, what disposal rates they would charge, a description of their experience running landfills and other information.

The county sent the requests to Waste Management, Republic Services, Recology, Waste Connections, Santek Waste Services and Waste Connections.

The county now makes money off the landfill, which charges among the cheapest disposal rates in the state and has about 100 years of capacity. However, the county estimates that new regulations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will eventually cost $5 million annually.

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