Denton Scraps Landfill Mining Program

Denton city leaders have scrapped a program to remove recyclables from the city landfill and sell the materials before it even started.

On Tuesday, Denton City Council voted to end a landfill mining program, approved in 2015. At the time, city leaders were told the program would net the city about $16 million dollars over ten years, by digging up and selling recyclables buried in an old part of the landfill in the 1980's and '90's.

Denton's director of solid waste, Ethan Cox, said a recent review of the program found that would not be the case. In fact, Cox says the program would actually cost Denton taxpayers $1.4 million dollars annually, so he recommended getting rid of it.

"Some of the assumptions that were made were very optimistic," said Cox, regarding previous estimates on how much excavated recyclables would bring.

The city of Denton is already on the hook for more than $3.5 million dollars in new equipment, purchased specifically for the landfill mining program. Cox said most of that heavy machinery would be put to use in other areas of the Denton landfill.

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