Dallas Waste Control: The Saga Continues

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29 September 2011

A controversial 'flow control' plan that would see all of the City of Dallas's waste taken to the McCommas Landfill in Southern Dallas, has been approved by the council on a split decision.

According to a CBS News report only residential waste, not commercial waste currently goes to the landfill. Commercial waste will now go there as well, and many in the waste industry are not happy about it.

However, Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings claimed that the plan - which passed on a 9-6 vote - could bring $15 to $18 million into the city coffers.

"Trash is valuable; it's a valuable commodity," councilman Jerry Allen is reported to have said during the council meeting.

In exchange for the inconvenience of more thru-traffic in neighborhoods near the city's McCommas Landfill, the deal also promises $1 million a year in economic development for the area.

"This is not just a one year deal; we're looking to the future of our community," added Charles Rose, another area resident.

Some other residents however are not so amiable to the idea and don't think the money is worth the landfill hassles. A group from nearby Paul Quinn College stood silently in protest throughout much of the debate, which split members from the southern sector.

Commenting on the issue, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has asked Mayor Rawlings to hold firm to his pledge not to raise the cost of doing business in Dallas.

"We were extremely disappointed to learn that Mayor Rawlings is supporting flow control a law that would require all commercial waste in Dallas be transported many extra miles to the city's single McCommas Bluff landfill in Southern Dallas," said Tom Brown, Texas Chapter President of the NSWMA.  

"The NAACP, Paul Quinn College and the community have joined us in opposing this plan to create a city monopoly," he added.

However, Dallas based Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) is seeking permission from the City of Dallas to build a multimillion dollar recycling facility at the McCommas Bluff Landfill.  

Flow Control would allow the proposed facility to benefit from huge guaranteed feedstocks of waste, from which OEC has claimed it would be able to capture up to 95% of the recyclables, raising between $5 million and $20 million each year for the city.  

"The extra 5000 tons (4535 tonnes) daily being buried in private landfills has incredible value", says George Gitschel, CEO.  "Millions of dollars of Dallas revenue is being needlessly buried in private landfills, when we can capture that value and give it back to the citizens.  It's their money."

But according to the NSWMA, there are better alternatives to flow control that will generate more revenue for the city by saving money through more efficient operations, generate more money for Southern Dallas and not cause prices to increase for businesses.

The NSWMA said that it has provided the Mayor with detailed financial information including spread sheets, invoices, tonnage calculations, landfill prices and route information that clearly demonstrate that flow control will raise cost to businesses by 20% or more than $19 million a year.    

"Those ideas need to be on the table now so they can be compared with flow control so the city can reach the best decision," said Brown. "Common sense tells you that trucking garbage farther to one of the area's most expensive landfills or paying an exorbitant tipping fee at a transfer station will increase costs."

Also Read

Plan to Recycle 6000 tpd of Waste Sent to Dallas Landfill
Dallas based waste separation and renewable energy company, Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) is seeking permission from the City of Dallas to build a multimillion dollar recycling facility at the McCommas Bluff Landfill. 

Proposed Recycling Facility in Dallas Sparks Fierce Debate
The NSWMA has reacted strongly to proposals made by Organic Energy Corporation to build a multimillion dollar recycling facility at the McCommas Bluff Landfill. 

Recycling Helps San Francisco Win Greenest U.S. City Award
San Francisco has scooped the accolade of 'greenest' major city in the U.S. and Canada Green City Index. New York, Seattle, Denver and Boston completed out the top five U.S. cities.


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