Industry Group Urges City of Dallas Not to Use Flow Control

Date: August 10, 2011

Source: National Solid Wastes Management Association

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) is proposing an alternative to the City of Dallas' plan to impose flow control that would direct all waste to the city's giant McCommas Bluff Landfill. NSWMA argues that "flow control would prevent commercial waste in Dallas from being equitably distributed and disposed of near the areas where it is created and in the most cost efficient manner possible," said Tom Brown, president of the association's Texas Chapter. The city's flow control proposal aims to mandate 900,000 tons of additional commercial waste be delivered to its landfill in order to fund development of its Southern region, enhance its operations and increase its production of methane gas powering its gas-to-energy project. NSWMA says this would create inefficiencies by directing waste away from a dozen or so area landfills that could be closer, and in turn, increases truck traffic, fuel use, pollution, etc.

As an alternative, NSWMA recommends that the city raise its franchise fee charged to commercial haulers, use a portion of its landfill fees to develop the area around the landfill and use income from green projects.

The waste industry has nervously awaited the consequences of an April 2007 decision by the US Supreme Court (United Haulers Assn., Inc. v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Mgmt. Auth.) which ruled that certain flow control laws were valid as long as the designated facilities were government-owned and operated. The decision narrowed a 1994 Supreme Court decision (C&A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, New York) in which a flow control law that designated a privately-owned facility was found to be unconstitutional.


PRESS RELEASE
August 10, 2011

NSWMA Says City Can Help Southern Dallas Without Flow Control

  • Proposal Would Fund Development

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has proposed a plan for the City of Dallas to help Southern region development without the negative impact of flow control on the entire Dallas community.

Under the plan the city would take the following steps to provide a proven revenue stream with no investment from the city:

  • Raise the franchise fee charged to commercial haulers

  • Dedicate a portion of the McCommas Bluff tipping fee to development in the area around the landfill

  • Dedicate a portion of any income from green projects to the development fund for the area

"This program does not require the city's Southern sector to become the entire community's dumping ground," said Tom Brown, president of the Texas Chapter of the National Solid Wastes Management Association. "Flow control would prevent commercial waste in Dallas from being equitably distributed and disposed of near the areas where it is created and in the most cost efficient manner possible."

The NSWMA proposal eliminates the numerous serious problems that would be created by flow control including increased traffic and local pollution around the landfill. "There is no green energy project anywhere in the U.S. that would require more material than is presently being delivered to McCommas Bluff so there is no need for flow control to create new green programs now or anytime in the foreseeable future," said Brown.

"Our members are the recognized leaders in the green energy field with operations throughout the world," said Brown. "We can be a resource for helping the community identify and implement the best practices and the latest technology that can generate additional income and jobs."

Under the city's flow control proposal, 900,000 tons of additional commercial waste would be delivered to Southern Dallas each year creating additional traffic as well as thousands of additional diesel trucks operating around the landfill. Flow control would negatively impact the entire city because it would add significantly to the cost of collecting the trucking commercial waste from the northern sections of Dallas to the Southern sector.

In a letter to City Manager Mary Suhm, the NSWMA warned that the financial projections created to justify flow control were materially inaccurate. "The city will not receive the income presented in the council briefings," said Brown. "Who will be accountable when those numbers don't add up?"

"Our proposal helps bring Southern Dallas the help it needs, will help the community identify the best technology to create meaningful clean energy jobs and encourage competition to keep transportation and landfill prices reasonable for the whole community," said Brown. "The continued need to re-brief the city council is part of the mounting evidence that flow control is a poorly conceived and researched idea that needs to be taken off the table."

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) a sub-association of the Environmental Industry Associations represents for-profit companies in North America that provide solid, hazardous and medical waste collection, recycling and disposal services, and companies that provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry. NSWMA members conduct business in all 50 states.

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