From Texas Campaign for the Environment:
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Landfill Expansion Permit Public Meeting Online
Thursday, June 25th 7:00 PM-CT
Online: https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/join-webinar , ID: 392-880-443
Denton residents and local environmental advocates will speak out on the city’s plan to expand its solid waste landfill and the impacts on the community at the state environmental agency’s online public meeting for a proposed permit amendment that could authorize the expansion.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality agreed to hold the meeting after hundreds of residents wrote in demanding more public input on the expansion process.
The permit amendment would allow the city to grow the landfill up to 210 feet high and increase its footprint by over 100 acres . The city wants to begin the expansion without a long-term strategy for managing solid waste or reducing trash. According to local environmental group Texas Campaign for the Environment, Denton residents have written thousands of letters to their city officials urging them to take action on waste reduction strategies in recent years.
At the meeting Denton residents will express their concerns that the large-scale expansion is not in line with a sustainable future for Denton and is a misuse of a valuable public resource. Residents and local environmental advocates say that the expansion goes against Denton’s sustainability goals as outlined in its Simply Sustainable Plan and 2030 Denton Plan, which advocate for reducing waste and protecting health and the environment.
Community members near the landfill fear the expansion would bring increased problems with odor, litter, animals, and truck traffic on Mayhill Rd. as well as threaten property values. One of the communities closest to the landfill, the Pecan Creek Mobile Home Park, is predominantly Spanish-speaking, and the city has done little to include their input on the landfill expansion that would directly impact them.
Many Denton residents say they are worried that the expansion would be used to bring in outside trash rather than for the benefit of the community. In 2019, Denton City Council voted to approve three-year contracts to import trash to the landfill from outside businesses and cities. As a result, a majority of trash into the landfill will come from these outside sources. The DFW Landfill in Lewisville is expected to close in three years, and NBC 5 DFW has reported that at least one of DFW Landfill’s clients has been in talks to bring its trash to Denton’s landfill.
Local environmental advocates and Denton residents will advocate for a more sustainable approach to managing the landfill. They believe that focusing on reducing waste through policies and programs and saying No to large trash import contracts is a better solution for the community.