Long-range plans developed for Deep East Texas landfills

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:01 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:45 PM CDT
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ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - For most of us when we take our garbage to the curb, it’s out of sight and out of mind. Municipalities and counties can’t afford doing that. A long-range solid waste plan is necessary to assure there’s a place for trash to be taken over the long haul.

Mounds of garbage fill four landfills in the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) 11-county region, according to Bob Bashaw, DETCOG’s regional planner.

“We have the City of Nacogdoches Landfill. We have the Angelina County Landfill. We have a landfill in Polk County near Leggitt. And we have a Western Landfill in southern Newton County.”

DETCOG’S regional planner Bob Bashaw reports the Newton complex and the Nacogdoches landfill are more than adequate to serve another 20 years.

Polk County has 15 years of life remaining with a permit application under consideration. The Angelina County landfill has a shorter 14-year lifetime. The county owns much of the land around the facility, so there is room for growth.

“Looks like we’re going to have plenty of capacity for the trash to be hauled away from your house,” assures Bashaw.

Nice to hear, but the main reason why--much of rural Deep East Texas is losing population, reports the Texas Demographic Center.

“Obviously, this is something that concerns us. Our economic development programs are working to attract more businesses, more industries,” said Bashaw.

Also in the study is the dismal future for recycling. The market for recycled materials is minimal and processing centers are scarce.

“There is really no place for the recycling to go at this time,” explained Bashaw. Curbside pickup has stopped in Lufkin and Nacogdoches.

Yet, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) wants to see over the next twenty years less solid waste in landfills.

The 20-year regional solid waste plan is set to be adopted tomorrow in Hemphill by the DETCOG board. It will be forwarded to TCEQ for final approval.

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