Neighbors worry landfill expansion could mean 'skyscaper made of trash'
Right now, it looks like a hill. It just blends in with its surroundings. But it is the Camelot Landfill.
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#1 Oct 29, 2012
I am a Carrollton resident who attended the community meeting on the proposed landfill expansion last week. I was alarmed by the proposed new elevation under the new permit application. I must admit that I am not an authority on this matter. All I know is what I heard at the meeting. However, a couple of items caught my attention so I wanted to share them with you.
The lawyer for Framerís Branch divulged two interesting facts:
Fact #1: Under the current landfill permit (keeping the current permitted height as is), it will take another 15 years to deplete the landfillís capacity.
Fact #2: The City of Farmerís Branch currently contributes less than 10% of the current waste being deposited in the landfill.
Conclusion: The current landfill, under the existing permit, is adequate to handle waste from the City of Farmerís Branch for the next 150 years. Why do they need to expand the landfill? The current permit satisfies their needs until the year 2162.
Profits and Costs
I assume that Farmerís Branch wants to expand the landfill because of the financial profits that can be generated from those who currently contribute 90% of the trash being deposited in the landfill. I have no problem with municipalities generating revenue in order to offset taxes but they need to operate within the rules as outlined in the existing permit and/or they need to pay the full costs associated with changing the permit. After all, they knew the landfillís capacity when they bought it. They are only seeking expansion now in order to reap a financial gain. Unfortunately, they expect their neighbors to subsidize their operating costs.
A 36 story tall landfill will have a drastic effect on the surrounding communities. Homeowners will lose resale value and local municipalities will lose property tax revenue. I suspect that my homeís value will decline by at least $50,000, more likely $100,000. Why should I bear this cost just so Farmerís Branch and the private landfill management company can generate profits?
These are real damages and represent decades of savings for most people. I would think that total damages for the affected areas would easily amount to more than $100 million. Perhaps Farmerís Branch would reconsider their position if they had to pay the full costs associated with their plan.
The bottom line here is that they should not be allowed to increase the landfill elevation by a preposterous 200 feet. Thirty Ėsix story tall trash mounds do not belong in urbanized areas. The collateral costs to surrounding communities are far too great. It will be a regional eyesore and lead to the eventual decline of these communities. Property values will decline resulting in real, tangible damages to homeowners and municipalities alike. If the regulators consider the full costs associated with the decision, they should reject the proposed expansion. If Farmerís Branch had to pay the full costs associated with expanding the landfill, they would withdraw permit application.
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