Neighbors Raise New Stink Over Dallas Landfill

A new plan to boost truck traffic at the McCommas Bluff Landfill has neighbors complaining in southeast Dallas.

"Nobody has brought this up to us," said resident Clara McDade. "When I found out about it, I got on the phone immediately."

The new plan would shift recycling material to a new sorting plant to be built at the landfill site, located near Interstate 20 and Interstate 45, by a private contractor. The company offers to build the facility at no cost to the city before the current recycling contract expires in December 2016 and pay at least $15 million for recycled materials during 15 years of the new contract.

Dallas Sanitation Director Kelly High said the facility would increase truck traffic by at least 55 trucks a day and could increase in future years.

Dallas Council Members learned about the plan at a briefing Monday.

The company was chosen from several bidders. It proposes a recycling operation that could become a magnet for other recycling businesses nearby and an attraction for school field trips.

"They're going to create a glass catwalk that will allow individuals to be able to walk and observe the process going on," said Councilman Erik Wilson.

Wilson, the newly elected councilman representing the area, said he is impressed with the plan but withholding judgment until a community meeting Aug. 17.

"They have wrapped in all of the community concerns, whether it talks about jobs, outreach, safety, and getting back to smell and transportation," Wilson said.

McDade and other neighbors fought a different plan to increase McCommas Bluff Landfill traffic four years ago. Students from nearby Paul Quinn College packed a 2011 Dallas City Council meeting for that vote, but the City Council approved the plan. It was to require all private haulers to deliver all Dallas trash to the city-owned landfill instead of taking it to dumps outside the city. A federal lawsuit by the private haulers stopped that plan in 2012.

Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrells said Monday he is waiting for more information about the new recycling plan before taking sides. McDade said she is rallying neighbors against it.

"I have started a petition and we are going to submit that petition on Monday to let them know that this is something we are not for, again," McDade said.

A City Council vote on the new recycling plan is scheduled Aug. 26.

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