Benton County, Oregon

Making Benton County a Better Place to Live
Printed on Aug 30, 2015 @ 7:31 PM

Benton County Sustainability

Welcome to the Benton County Sustainability website!  Benton County Departments and Divisions work everyday to implement sustainability into projects and programs.  Sustainable actions include saving and using available resources efficiently, investing in the future, and creating new processes that support enhancement and stability for the local economy, environment, and communities.  The website provides an overview of current project work with links to web pages with diverse resources to support departments and divisions in developing and implementing sustainability.  There are many resources for others interested in the Benton County Sustainability history, goals, objectives, and current projects/programs.

Benton County Sustainability Student/Volunteer Opportunities!

(multiple positions available for intern credits or volunteers)

Free thinking, high energy, independent people interested in working on the exciting intersection of sustainability and business. This is one of the fastest evolving and highest demanding fields and there are many opportunities that provide diverse experience for the real world!

Interested?  Please submit your sustainability interest areas, work experience, and other helpful information to the Sustainability Coordinator.

For more information please contact the Sustainability Coordinator: 

Sayard Schultz, Benton County Sustainability Coordinator; sayard[dot]schultz@co[dot]benton[dot]or[dot]us; (541) 766-6821

The Benton County Sustainability Report 2013 is available for download and review! Thanks to all county staff and partners that supported sustainability!







Sustainability Program 2014

The Sustainability Committee (Review Benton County Sustainability Committee Minutes and Agendas) is focused on meeting specific goals in the Benton County Sustainability Policy (2002) and supporting county employees, managers, elected officials to take actions to promote sustainable practices within county government.  The ‘initial step, that all departments shall focus on internal government operations’ (Sustainability Policy 2002) included the following goals that support project and program development:

  • Develop and implement projects and programs that promote sustainability practices within county operations;
  • Implement and update Benon County sustainability metrics;
  • Conduct county employee, business, community and general public outreach to support sustainability program work;
  • Identify and prioritize future work to meet sustainability project goals.

Since 2012 Benton County has provided for a part-time Sustainability Coordinator in order to:

  • Coordinate the interdepartmental Sustainability Committee meetings and all associated work;
  • Complete project and program development and implementation through partnerships with interdeparmental partnerships;
  • Secure funding for project implementation and complete projects that save resources while promoting sustainability.

Starting in the 2012 the Benton County Sustainability Committee projects have included the following major project highlights (led by the Sustainability Coordinator):

The 2014 Sustainability Committee is building on the 2012-2013 successes with a major focus on Waste and Energy Sustainability Metrics and Progress Report whilde developing a baseline track progress towards goals and objectives.


Annual Sustainability Award

  Since 2001 Benton County Board of Commissioners have selected staff and the occasional department for completing sustainability projects that go ‘above and beyond’ standard everyday actions (see list of past Sustainability Award recipients).


The 2014 Benton County Sustainability Award went to Roger Irvin, Public Works Director (retired June 2014).  For over 30 years, Roger has been a major force in developing and implementing Sustainability principles and practices into a range of projects and programs at Benton County including notable accomplishments such as:

  • Leading divisions that maintain the 460 miles of county road system through reuse and innovation such as reusing bridges and other materials
  • Help complete the LEED certified, sustainability designed City of Monroe Library;
  • Supporting and developing regional partnerships for mechanical, engineering, surveying, and other county public works that provide additional revenue;
  • Leading the creation and enhancements of the Benton County Sustainability Program and Policy through tireless--bringing departments and divisions together.

In these ways and countless others, Roger was the change he wishes to see in his county, and creates opportunities for those around him to be that as well. Thanks to Roger for all he has done to make Benton County Sustainability a reality!


The 2013 Benton County Sustainability Award went to Sayard Schultz, On-Call Corrections Deputy, Benton County Sheriff’s Office.  Sayard continuously promotes sustainable actions in her department and throughout Benton County.  Sayard's most notable accomplishments include:

  • Lead establishment of Compost, Commingled, Bottle Deposit, Plastic bag recycling and Glass recycling stations and process at the County Jail;
  • Actively participated and worked (often during personal time) on the 2012 and 2013 Sustainability Committee meetings and projects;
  • Worked at the Sheriff’s Office Annual Drug Take Back Event, to support a safe environment for the community to dispose of old and unused medications, keeping those drugs out of the hands of children, criminals, and out of the water system.
  • Volunteered her time, as an OSU-Extension Service Master Recycler, as part of the Benton County Fair Green Team to support the transition to composting food and vendor serving ware, while increasing recycling of commingled and special plastics.

Sayard continues to enthusiastically support the Benton County sustainability projects as an energetic and knowledgeable member of the Benton County Sustainability




Lonny Wunder and Chris Bielenberg The 2012 Benton County Sustainability Award went to Lonny Wunder, Fairgrounds Manager and Chris Bielenberg Fairgrounds Manager for the 'Fairgrounds Solar Array Project'.

  Chris and Lonny worked with the volunteer Fairgrounds Board and local contractors, along with the Oregon Department of Energy to construct a livestock building powered by 306 roof-top solar modules funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

    The Fairgrounds Solar Array will meet nearly a quarter of the fairgrounds’ annual energy needs and cut energy costs by $4,200 per year. The 82,700 kilowatt hours of solar-generated electricity will avoid 1.1 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to reducing automobile travel by 121,724 miles a year or planting 7.7 acres of trees. read more…




Solar Array on the Fairgrounds Building

  Inside the 12,000-square-foot space a Solar Education Center displays information about the solar array, providing hundreds of local students with the opportunity to learn how the sun’s energy can be turned into electricity. The center was funded by the Oregon Department of Energy using Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds from the Energy Department.


Collecting, Sharing and Learning from Sustainability Data

Benton County has developed the Benton County Sustainability Metrics and Progress Report as a way to capture and share priority data with staff and residents. The Progress Report metrics and process for completion will focus on compiling, creating, and reviewing information for the priority categories of:


Benton County Dashboard

•Employees: Development and Wellness;
•Facilities: Energy, Natural Gas, Water;
•Transportation : Alternative Transportation, Fuel Usage, Travel Policy
•Waste Reduction: Trash, Recycling and Composting;
•Purchasing: Survey, Cost Analysis, Sustainable Substitutes

Sustainability metrics will be tracked on a routine basis to determine trends that inform staff/managers within all county departments.  Staff and managers are encouraged to provide information to the Sustainability Coordinator.

Sustainability Outreach

For more information on the Benton County Sustainability program, please contact Sayard Schultz, Benton County Sustainability Coordinator, (541) 766-6821