Carrollton Leader > News
'Confusing the issue': Carrollton responds to Camelot landfill claims
In a letter to the city of Farmers Branch, Carrollton Mayor Matthew Marchant blasted the city's arguments for proceeding with their application to expand the Camelot Landfill, saying "it is clear from your letter that further communication between our cities on this matter is likely to be unproductive."
Marchant attacked several of the claims of Farmers Branch Mayor William P. Glancy, who had written a letter to the city of Carrollton stating that the reason the expansion is necessary is "our society generates more household waste than ever before, and plans must be made now for disposal in the future."
Marchant strongly disagreed with Glancy's claim.
"Your letter cloaks the Camelot expansion permit as a benevolent regional gesture addressing a non-existent shortage of landfill space in North Texas," Marchant said. "In fact, according to the October 2011 TCEQ Municipal Solid Waste Review, there are 21 active landfills in the North Central Texas Council of Governments region, with 369,151,624 available tons of capacity, the largest available capacity in the state of Texas, with the next closest region having 75,000,000 less tons of capacity."
Glancy also said that not allowing Camelot to expand will lead to higher bills for area waste disposal.
"The landfills in Lewisville have a direct and measurable impact on about half a million North Texans in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Lewisville, The Colony, Grapevine and other municipalities that are served by these landfills," Glancy said. "If Camelot is not allowed to expand, our communities will be faced with trucking household waste to more distant locations causing increased stress on infrastructure, the environment and residential collection bills."
Marchant said that the bills Farmers Branch is concerned most about are the ones they will collect after Camelot expands.
"The actual reasoning behind the expansion permit appears to relate more to fiscal matters," Marchant said. "Our research indicates that Farmers Branch's contract with Republic Waste includes a clause that currently pays Farmers Branch $1 million per year in revenue for the life of the landfill plus an additional 10 percent of gross tipping fees. The contract will escalate your tipping fee from 10 percent to 16 percent upon the arrival of a major amendment such as the pending proposal."
Glancy said in his letter that Farmers Branch had every reason to believe Carrollton would be on board with further landfill development.
"We presumed the City of Carrollton had embraced the concept of development next to two large landfill operations when it removed the industrial zoning buffer and encouraged the residential and commercial growth that has occurred in the area," Glancy said. "This was further evidenced by the lack of opposition when expansion of DFW Landfill was approved in 1999. Because the DFW Landfill is much closer in proximity to a greater number of Carrollton residents than Camelot is, the questions become, what causes more concern about Camelot expansion than was caused by the unopposed DFW expansion in 1999? What "devastating impact" will the proposed expansion of Camelot create?"
Marchant said that Carrollton strongly opposed expanding the DFW landfill, backing up his claim with copies of two Carrollton city council resolutions, the first dated April 2, 1996 and the second dated Jan. 21 1997, expressing opposition to Waste Management, Inc. proposal to expand the DFW Recycling and Disposal Facility. In addition, Marchant's letter contained three 1997 articles from the Dallas Morning News detailing Carrollton's opposition.
Marchant also said Carrollton's acceptance to living next Camelot is dependent on the facility sticking to the plan created when the facility was originally constructed.
"Your letter attempts to misdirect the city of Carrollton's position opposing the 202-foot tall expansion request by confusing the issue of the current landfill operations," Marchant said. "Under current regulations, the Camelot and DFW landfills are scheduled to be closed within the next 20 years. The city of Carrollton has been managing this issue with an eye toward the closure of these landfills in the near term and is not trying to close the landfills early or protest their current permit status. Adding 202 feet to the currently permitted allowance is a fundamental change and amounts to a brand new landfill."
Marchant also said he hoped Farmers Branch would realize the expansion proposal is not in the best interest of the region.
"We believe that the city of Farmers Branch does have a genuine concern for the residents in North Texas," Marchant said. "Therefore, the city of Carrollton reiterates its request to you and your city council to immediately rescind this request for expansion of the Camelot Landfill."