Update on Building Waco’s Future

Landfill Planning

The capacity of the city’s current landfill will be fully utilized by approximately 2023.  For this reason, the City Council has determined it is necessary to find a site for a new landfill.  One site for a newly permitted landfill under consideration is on property along Old Lorena Road (FM 2837) near the current landfill.

Council also has asked the city to look at other sites and the staff has retained consultants to look for additional potential locations. One site that was identified is located near the intersection of  Highway 31 and T.K. Parkway in unincorporated portions of Limestone and McLennan Counties. At its July 31, 2018 meeting, the City Council approved the purchase of approximately 500 acres of land at that location and has authorized staff to begin the permitting process to utilize this site as a potential landfill.

To be clear, the council cannot make a decision concerning the ultimate location of the new landfill until it fully evaluates both sites and the cost for services at the sites.

The city will continue to keep the public informed as this process continues.

What goes into the permitting process?

Selecting a piece of property for a landfill is complex. Key site considerations include: size of the site, suitable geologic formations that are protective of ground and surface water, environmental considerations; highway access, including load limits on roads and bridges; distance from Waco, and other considerations that may affect rates and the variety of services offered to our residents.

TCEQ requirements for such sites include many technical issues such as floodplains, wetlands, seismic impact zones, and distance to airports, geology and hydrogeology. 

Why did the city purchase the site if they are not sure it can be utilized for a landfill?

Because of the long time frame necessary to evaluate a property and permit a site.

Does this purchase mean the Old Lorena Road location will be eliminated as a site if the permit is approved for the Highway 31 and TK Parkway location?

That decision would be based on multiple factors and has not been made at this time.

Why can’t the city extend the life of the current landfill?

Curbside recycling and yard waste diversion for residents has diverted an estimated 19,000 tons of solid waste annually from the existing landfill, but even with these successful programs and high participation rates among residents, the current landfill is nearing the end of its useful life.

Do you expect opposition from people living near the sites?

That is certainly a possibility, no matter which site is selected. The TCEQ permitting process allows for public input from the surrounding communities.

More information on landfill planning...