To Metro Councilors  Friday, January 26, 2018

Good afternoon Councilors--

I want to provide you with a brief update on the Japanese Beetle.  As you recall, the beetle is a non-native invasive species that feeds on nursery and garden stock.  The beetle has been found in portions of Washington County – mostly north of Highway 26 in the Bethany and Cedar Mill area.  In an attempt to eradicate this insect, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has implemented a treatment program using a granulated pesticide.  ODA has also pursued a strategy to isolate and dispose (rather than compost) yard debris, soil and roots from portions of the infested area.  In 2015, just over 300 insects were captured.  In 2017, over 30,000 insects were captured in Washington County.  Some increase was anticipated because of increased trapping but this is a significant increase. 

Metro continues to work closely with ODA, Washington County solid waste officials, DEQ, local haulers and the Hillsboro Landfill.  Northwest Landscape Service (NLS) in Hillsboro continues to operate as a yard debris reload site for landscapers  working in the quarantine zone.  It was originally anticipated that about 1,000 tons of yard debris would be generated in 2017 – however, final reports indicate that 2,250 tons of yard debris was generated inside the quarantine zone and disposed at the landfill – about half of it was reloaded through the NLS facility.  In 2018, the ODA has decided to expand both the treatment zone and the yard debris quarantine area.  As a result, staff expects that 4,000 to 5,000 tons of yard debris may be generated and disposed of during 2018.  The attached map shows the expanded treatment and yard debris quarantine areas.

As you recall, Metro has exempted the yard debris generated from the quarantine zone from its regional system fee and excise tax even though it is disposed in a landfill.  Keep in mind, that had this yard debris not gone to disposal, it would have largely been composted at a yard debris compost facility and exempt from paying solid waste fees and taxes as well.

I have attached a Quarantine Alert that will be sent to local affected residences and a map of the area showing the expanded treatment and quarantine areas.  Should you have any questions or wish to get a more in-depth briefing, please let Roy Brower or me know.

Thanks for your interest in this important issue,

Paul Slyman
Director, Property and Environmental Services