Arlington, Oregon is a small town (around 500) people, located along the Columbia River and I-84. The city is located directly in the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, and has a very dry climate, even compared to other areas of Eastern Oregon. It receives less than ten inches of rain a year, making most forms of agriculture non-viable.

Because of this, the town's economy rests on two foundations. One of these is that since it lies alongside the freeway on a fairly deserted stretch, people stop there for gas and food. The other major source of income is that just outside of Arlington lies a gigantic landfill where garbage from the Portland, Oregon area and as far away as Seattle, Washington is shipped to be buried. Because there is very little rainfall, and the land is otherwise non-productive, it makes a good place for discarding solid waste. And by placing a tax on incoming garbage, the city of Arlington manages to keep itself in a good fiscal state, and also has a good source of employment. The garbage dump is also far enough outside of town that it doesn't obviously interfere with life there. The casual visitor to Arlington, stopping to refuel and eat, would never suspect that the town was a hub for the garbage disposal of two states.

Small towns throughout The Western States are often in need of economic foundations when a natural resource based economy fails. The default answer seems to be tourism, but becoming a hub for waste treatment is also, at least for a town like Arlington, a viable answer.

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