PHOTO: A new half-cell at the Victoria landfill, 18141 FM 1686, is covered with a thick plastic liner to prevent contaminants from leaking into the environment.
The City of Victoria has secured permission from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to expand the City-owned landfill, adding 100 years of life to the landfill and allowing the City to safely provide high-demand industrial waste disposal services.
The expansion will nearly triple the size of the landfill, covering 293 acres of property that is already owned by the City.
“The approval process for landfills is long and complex, and many landfills are running out of space because of obstacles to expansion,” said Environmental Services Director Darryl Lesak. “This project will help to boost our local economic development and ensure that Victoria residents always have a place to dump their trash.”
Space: A crucial resource
The expansion is critical because the current landfill space only has about 15 years of use left. If the landfill were to fill up completely, the City would have to dispose its waste at the nearest available landfill, which is about 100 miles away.
“Our garbage trucks make 11 trips to the landfill per day,” Lesak explained. “If we had to haul trash to a different landfill, our costs would be four or five times as much.”
Turning industrial trash into cash
The new landfill space will also include cells that are designed to accept Class 1 non-hazardous waste according to TCEQ regulations. This category includes certain types of non-hazardous industrial waste that are produced by plants and factories.
Because so few landfills provide this type of service, local plants currently must transport their Class 1 waste up to 100 miles away. The City will now be able to accept business from plants in Victoria County and throughout the region.
A win for economic development
The project won’t just attract new customers to the landfill; it might attract new businesses to Victoria.
The additional space, combined with the ability to accept Class 1 waste, will make Victoria an attractive prospect for industries that produce Class 1 waste or large amounts of ordinary trash.
Being a good neighbor
To get the expansion approved, the City spent six years working with the TCEQ and other state and federal agencies—including the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—to ensure that the expansion would not harm the environment, roadways or nearby area.
The approval process can take longer for landfills in residential areas and business corridors because of the potential impacts on residents and other stakeholders. However, because Victoria’s landfill is located in a rural area, and because Environmental Services takes steps to limit the smells that the landfill produces, the City did not receive any complaints throughout the approval process.
How can we make our landfill last longer?
Environmental Services offers recycling and yard waste pickup to its customers at no additional cost. Instead of going to the landfill, recyclables are sent to Waste Management for processing, and yard waste is turned into compost that can be resold to gardeners.
Environmental Services also uses decontaminated biosolids from Public Works to speed up the decomposition process. As waste breaks down, Environmental Services is able to reopen previously closed areas of the landfill and place more trash there.
To learn more about Environmental Services, including pickup times for trash, recycling and yard waste, visit www.victoriatx.gov/environmental-services.