Lufkin to consider kicking recycling off the curb to cover landfill costs

Lufkin to consider kicking recycling off the curb to cover landfill costs
Angelina county commissioners want the city of Lufkin to pay more for their landfill services. The county's proposal could mean an increase in how much residents pay to use it. KTRE’s T’Ebonie Tanner asked the county why the increase is necessary. (Source: KTRE)

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - When the Lufkin City Council meets Tuesday evening, they will vote on whether to enter into an interlocal agreement with Angelina County for landfill services that will increase the city’s payments by $1.06 million over the next five years.

To offset the “substantial increase in expenditures,” Assistant City Manager Jason Arnold and staff members have recommended that the City of Lufkin do away with its curbside recycling collection.

“During the regularly scheduled council meeting on June 16, 2020, city manager was authorized to negotiate an interlocal agreement for the provision of landfill services,” Arnold said in the council packet that was sent out with the agenda for the upcoming meeting. “A healthy discussion between city and county leadership has resulted in a proposed agreement that staff considers reasonable.”

According to the council packet, the agreement would have a five-year term, but the city would have the option to cancel the agreement after two years.

“Staff estimates the new rates will raise our payments to the landfill by $146,154 the first twelve months, $181,077 the second twelve months, $211,616 the third twelve months, $243,643 the fourth twelve months, and $277,249 the fifth twelve months,” the packet stated. “The increases will be difficult to overcome but are significantly lower than previous proposals from the county.”

Arnold and his staff estimated that doing away with the city’s curbside recycling pickup would reduce Lufkin’s expenditures by $131,873 during the first year. If the city council approves the modified recycling program, the City of Lufkin would continue to collect recycling at designated drop-off locations.

“We plan to have one location at the solid waste facility in South Lufkin and another at the public works facility in North Lufkin,” Arnold said in the council packet.

In the packet, Arnold said the city’s staff has taken steps to find a solution to Lufkin’s solid waste situation. He said that bids have been solicited from other landfills and third-party transportation networks to deliver Lufkin’s solid waste somewhere else.

Arnold also said that the City of Lufkin will hire a consultant who will determine the cost-effectiveness of re-opening the old landfill behind Water Plant No. 1 or building a new landfill.

“Staff recommends council allow the interim city manager to sign the proposed interlocal agreement between Angelina County and the City of Lufkin for the provision of landfill services,” Arnold said in the council packet.

To read the full agenda for the upcoming Lufkin City Council meeting, click this link.

Previous stories: Angelina County judge believes landfill service fee increase is necessary

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