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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Landfill Farms, Waste Management's clever plan to buy off the local organic crowd

It was just a few years back that some farmers in the neighborhood were shocked to find strange deformities on their animals. There were open lesions, chickens were dying, cows quit milking, calves died. No one could figure out what the problem was. Then one farmer started filling a water tank at our farm and using it to water his animals. Wonder of wonders, they didn't die, In face they did quite well.
There was talk of lawsuits against the owners of the local dump, which had just started a new site directly across the river from the old site, and was making a lot of money accepting out of county garbage.
(Back then, the trucks were red and white, not green, and they didn't talk much about recycling.)
Then, all of a sudden, no one would talk about it... It was sort of like nothing had ever gone wrong. (Aside from a few folks who didn't get the cash, and didn't sign the nondisclosure agreement.)
Shortly afterwards a couple farms sold and the nice fellow whose father had sold his farm to the local landfill with the agreement that as long as there was land owned by the landfill that was being farmed, his descendants would farm it, started farming on our side of the river.
Today, I just heard that my friend, the landfill farmer has been evicted, (but not from him) and that the farm is now going to be part of a partnership between Waste Management and the local organic crowd. The plan is to offer four acre plots to local organic farmers who don't have land.
I find this quite hilarious, people who are so terrified of Genetically Modified seed that they became farmers are now raising delicious crops on land that was once considered as a potential Superfund site. 
Here is a quote from the News Register which is a link to the Waste Management site.

It just goes to show you what a little public relations, nondisclosure agreements, a lot of money, and twenty five years can do for your image.
Just to keep this in perspective, the local dump is located on both sides of the Yamhill River, in a flood plain. The old dump may have leached into the local water supply but Western Oregon Waste bought up all the land surrounding the dump and part of the deal was nondisclosure agreements.
The person who started the local farmer's market used to be very opposed to Waste Management's expansion plans but has "seen the light."

You can find her name repeatedly in this "press" release. You can see the "rehabilitation" Waste Management from the green typeface to the change from "sanitary landfill" to recycling company. It is absolutely amazing. The dump is a nasty place which concentrates "regional" garbage in one location. A location in the "heart of wine country," just off of Highway 18 on the way to scenic Oregon Beaches, surrounded by filbert Hazelnut orchards, and now... Organic Farm to School programs. AND these are the folks that are opposed to Fluoride.
I also find it somewhat amusing to be reminded that selling one's soul to the devil often is not as good an idea as it seems at the time. Take this example, My friend lost a good chunk of farmland but can't do anything about it even though they violated the agreement with his father because, 1. He can't fight Waste Management because that have the resources of Mordor, 2. He gets enough money (I think have heard from a former family member) from Waste Management that he can't afford to do anything that may result in the loss of that income. He can't even tell what he knows about the contamination of the old dump due to confidentiality agreement issues. Pretty funny...

Note: The views expressed on this blog are solely for entertainment purposes are recollections on the part of the writer. They may or may not be as accurate as the News Register. But, you can't read the News Register because they have put it behind a pay wall which only makes it more irrelevant than it already was. Old articles in the News Resister can't be accessed through a Google search so for the casual researcher, the News Resister is truly a throwaway newspaper.


  1. Are those four acre plots up or down wind from the man made scenic attraction? (dump)

    1. downwind, under the shadow of Mt. Outofcountygarbage... I think they believe their own publicist...


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