Group opposed to one of the proposed locations of Waco landfill put signs in opposition

Posted at 3:39 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:47-04

Residents opposed to one of the proposed locations for a new landfill are purchasing signs to show their stance on the matter.

Neighbors, part of the group Citizens Against the Hwy 84 Landfill, have concerns, including water quality and air quality being compromised if the new landfill is built there next to the current 240-acre-facility off Highway 84 and Old McGregor Road.

“Our schools are here. More schools are being developed. We are fighting for our future for the kids. We want the kids to have a safe, clean environment,” Peter Micus with Citizens Against the Hwy 84 Landfill said.

Waco Deputy City Manager Wiley Stem said wherever the council decides to put landfill, water quality will be a priority. He said the state will not grant a city a permit if it can’t assure the protection of water quality.

In addition, he said there is not an impact from air quality.

"I know some people are concerned with some concerns with smells coming from the landfill but we don't believe it is the landfill,” Stem said.

With signs that show their opposition to one of the proposed location to the landfill and a link of their website, the group aims to raise awareness about the proposal. 

“People don't know about this problem and the problem is the city has not used any democratic processes,” Micus said.

Waco Deputy City Manager Wiley Stem the city has made the process public since the city started developing the Solid Waste Master Plan.

"Through their concerns, as we addressed them publicly, they encouraged the council to look at the other sites so that’s what we are doing,” Stem said.

The city council directed staff to look at the cost and benefits of at least four sites. They will present their findings to the council in the summer for them to decide. Stem said the council will host public meetings before determining where the new landfill should go.

However, the group believes the city has already started what they refer to as the expansion of the landfill.

"I don't think you can believe that they are looking at other sites because they would want to take a pause and look at them… but the rate of the expansion of this dump, there is no pause,” Micus said.

Stem said the city is not expanding the current landfill because the facility in use right now will be closed once the next one is built. However, he said there will be a transition period.

“I’m not saying one will close one day and the other will open the next. Because we don’t have the staff to operate two facilities. We are not interested in increasing staff,” Stem said.

Stem said the current work being done at the site involves excavations at the current landfill. In addition, he said crews are working on a water line project near the landfill in anticipation to the expansion of Hwy 84.

The Citizens to Save Lake Waco have already filed a lawsuit to stop plans for a new landfill claiming the City of Waco in 1992 signed an agreement stating it would not expand the current site beyond the current boundaries.

Last year, the City of Waco bought 273 acres of land next to the existing landfill off Old McGregor Road and Highway 84.

The city said a new landfill is necessary as they expect the current landfill to reach its capacity in eight years.

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