Projects add some green to Metro's solid waste facilities
Both of Metro's waste transfer stations are a little greener after spring projects to add more garden space at the facilities.
In Oregon City, workers recently wrapped up a project to add a small garden near the drive-in entrance to the Metro South Transfer Station. The project involved pulling up an ivy-covered ridge and replacing the invasive weed with native plants.
Sabrina Gogol, a toxics reduction specialist in Metro's Sustainability Center, said the garden project is a way to show visitors how they could put in low-impact natives in their own gardens.
"We're putting in a low-water, pesticide free landscape," Gogol said. And while staffers don't want people stopping in traffic at Metro South to admire the work, Gogol said she hopes it inspires curiosity.
Metro recently installed a garden near the Household Hazardous Waste section of its transfer station in Oregon City.
"Maybe it'll prompt questions to the hazardous waste staff," she said, like "'I see you guys planted manzanitas. Are those native? Do you have a brochure on that?'"
The former ivy garden also has a cow skull. Hazardous waste staffers sometimes pull not-necessarily-hazardous waste from what's collected and put it in the garden, Gogol said. A garden in a traffic island in the hazardous waste collection area was also planted, but with more ornamental plants. The project cost $1,026, she said.
Meanwhile, at the Metro Central transfer station in Northwest Portland, construction crews replacing the 20-year-old roof at the household hazardous waste facility in northwest Portland began installing a green roof last week.
The household hazardous waste facility was built in 1993. It has a flat roof measuring 4,658 square feet, about half of which will be covered with light-weight soil and planted with hardy sedum vegetation.
Snyder Roofing of Oregon LLC will complete the green roof portion by the end of June and the finish work adjacent to fans and other rooftop equipment in July, said Metro construction coordinator Pete Hillman. The Tigard-based company won the construction contract after submitting a bid of $149,692.
The green roof is designed to reduce runoff by soaking up heavy rains, as well as reduce the urban heat island effect by cooling the surrounding area, Hillman said.
Molly Chidsey, a sustainability coordinator at Metro, said the projects support the regional government's sustainability goal of enhancing habitat on developed properties.
The projects also add more insulation to buildings, Hillman said. That may or may not lead to cost savings on climate control, but Chidsey said the green roofs last twice as long as commercial roofs, and decrease the stormwater fee charged by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.
Volunteers also recently worked on an existing green roof at the Metro Regional Center in the Lloyd District.
Note- An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Gogol's department. This version has been corrected.
Nick Christensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-813-7583. Michael Burnham can be reached at email@example.com or 503-813-7538. Follow Metro on Twitter @oregonmetro.