||Science Applications International Corp., Bothell, WA. ;Ross and Associates, Seattle, WA.;Environmental Protection Agency, Seattle, WA. Region X.; United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Region X. Hazardous Waste Division.
The Pacific Northwest is in the midst of a dramatic change in the way municipal solid waste disposal services are provided to residents. Increased environmental and public concerns, as well as increasing costs for proper waste disposal, are causing the traditional local landfill to be replaced by large, regional, often privately-owned disposal facilities. The report presents a brief description of waste movement and the regionalization trend in the Pacific Northwest states. It then presents the policy and cost and benefit implications for jurisdictions which are considering importing or exporting waste. Although regional facilities can provide economically efficient and environmentally sound waste disposal, policy makers need to compete balancing interests in determining whether waste exportation or importation is sound. Costs, the availability of bac k-up facilities, the potential for disruption in the transportation network, being a 'good neighbor, environmental impact to the en-route and receiving jurisdictions, etc. are all important considerations. In addition, impact on future and existing recycling programs must be evaluated. Finally, policy-makers considering restrictions or fees on importation of solid waste must also balance the policy and legal issues of trying to encourage or discourage solid waste from coming into their jurisdiction. Finally, jurisdictions can be most effective in addressing these issues by working together to ensure sound practices throughout the region in which the public interest is protected.