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Metro to review trash options Tuesday

The Metro Council will review options for managing the region's garbage during a Tuesday afternoon work session.

The regional government manages the trash generated in the Portland metropolitan area. Most of it is currently trucked to a large landfill near Arlington in eastern Oregon managed by Waste Management. That contract is scheduled to expire in about five years, prompting Metro to consider its options.

Metro staff is expected to present the following options at the work session that begins at 2 p.m. on July 15:

- Continuing to send garbage to landfills, where methane is extracted from the decaying waste.

- Burning garbage to create heat and electricity

- Heating garbage at very high temperatures (1800 degrees Fahrenheit and higher) to create gases and break down into simple compounds that can be used for electricity generation or other chemical processes

- Using bacteria to break down biodegradable material without oxygen to produce methane and carbon dioxide for electricity, natural gas or other fuels.

- Developing new fuels from garbage that can be used in power plants and for other industrial purposes

The council will not make any decisions at the work session, but is expected to tell the staff to continue its efforts. Some options would involve constructing new facilities.