CARTM: Community Icon Considers Options for Future with Rejection of Bid to Continue to Operate County Transfer Station

By Laura Swanson
The rumors had been around for a month or so … “Have you heard? CARTM’s closing.” or “I heard that a private company is taking over the Transfer Station.”
There was some confirmation of CARTM’s status with the statement issued yesterday, August 30th from CARTM’s Board stating in part that the County had rejected all bids for operating the Manzanita Transfer Station, therefore CARTM, effective September 30th, was out of the trash and recycling business. See Tillamook County Pioneer article …

There are still more questions than answers about the status of the Manzanita Transfer Station and the future of CARTM. “The CARTM board is working on a plan, preparing for the closure, identifying steps that need to be taken,” said Karen Reddick-Yurka, CARTM executive director. “We remain open to options, listening to solutions that make sense to move forward, and will continue to focus on our mission of moving our community toward zero-waste.” CARTM will continue to operate the Transfer Station, recycling center and The Refindery until September 30th.
According to Reddick-Yurka, the $100,000 budget had been the amount the County paid for solid waste collection, but did not provide any compensation for recycling services and the diversion of other materials from the waste stream. The RFP had provisions for more services than trash. CARTM has seen their trash and recycling more than double during the past decade and anticipates continued increases. “We just barely been limping by,” said Reddick-Yurka. “With the changes in the recycling markets, many of our revenue streams have completely gone away, while our costs continue to climb.” The two bids for operating the Manzanita Transfer Station according to the scope of services in the RFP were $500,000+. With the impending closure, the 14 people employed by CARTM twill be losing their jobs.
“The CARTM Board is very good, skilled and thorough and has a tremendous amount of respect for the process,” said Reddick-Yurka. “We are forward-thinking, and this is an opportunity to change the model, and focus on our mission.”
The Manzanita Transfer Station is located on property deeded to the county in the 1950’s by the Laneda Corporation (Ben Lane) with the provision that it always be used as a “dump”. If the property is used for other purposes it reverts to the heirs of the corporation. “The county has no plans to sell the property, or to locate housing on this property,” said David McCall, Tillamook County Solid Waste Coordinator. There have been discussions and long-term plans by both CARTM and the County about the options for housing on nearby County-owned properties. “This will remain a Transfer Station,” said McCall. “We did ask CARTM to consider continuing on an interim basis to provide management while we re-issue the RFP and make plans for a transition, but the CARTM Board rejected that, opting to proceed with the closure.” McCall is preparing options for the management of the Manzanita Transfer Station going forward to be presented to the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners. The County is required to provide essential services, which includes solid waste (trash) disposal to north county.
Reddick-Yurka summed up this way, “There’s a quote from the movie ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ that goes something like, ‘Things will work out in the end – if they haven’t worked out yet, it isn’t the end.’ The Board is hopeful that this isn’t the end for CARTM, and this will work out.”
In the meantime, one of CARTM’s premier fundraising events, “The Trashion Show” scheduled for October 6th has been cancelled, for now. “Or should be just say postponed?” commented Reddick-Yurka. “With so much on our plates with the closure, and no clear view of what CARTM will look like in the future, we could not in good faith – or simply have the time or energy – to devote to this important fundraising event. Reddick-Yurka indicated that there is the definite possibility for rescheduling of the event in the near future once the CARTM Board has determined what the future is for CARTM.
Watch for updates on the Manzanita Transfer Station and CARTM.