The Camelot Landfill on the east side of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River and the DFW Landfill on the west side tower over the winding river that feeds the City of Dallas’ water plant downstream. That river used to mean that there was a limit to how high the landfills could get, since they needed to keep their distance from the Elm Fork.
In a joint press conference officials from the City of Farmers Branch, Republic Services and Waste Management announced Friday that they would be merging their landfills to form one massive 832 acre municipal solid waste landfill. The entire 1.5 mile length of the river’s meander between the two landfills will be bridged and a mountain of trash piled on it.
The project received fast track approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality with the blessing of the cities of Lewisville and Carrollton.
The first-of-its-kind project will allow the combined landfills to triple their capacity with a combination of expanded acreage and airspace. By bridging the river between them, they’ll be able to add 200 feet of height, bringing the peak to 875 feet above sea level, the highest point in Denton County.
The first step in the project is to straighten and channelize the approximately two miles of river that separate the two facilities. Straight river channel will be dug, and reinforced with a concrete floor and sides. The completed 45-foot wide channel removes curves, cutting about six tenths of a mile off the length. Bridge columns will be placed on either side of the river for the entire length, and a concrete deck placed on top. The river will have 30 feet of height.
On top of the deck, a rubberized textile will be placed, followed by four feet of compacted clay. The solid waste will then be piled on top of that and filled in the normal way.
The bridge is being designed by a team of engineers from Florida International University.
State law allows municipalities who own both sides of a waterway to channelize and cap it. The law was intended to allow cities to control urban creeks, prevent erosion and allow development. In this case, Farmers Branch already owned the Camelot Landfill, and becomes the primary owner of the DFW landfill. The City of Lewisville has reached an agreement to allow Farmers Branch to annex the land out of Lewisville. Carrollton has allowed Farmers Branch to annex a six foot wide strip to the property through it’s city’s territory.
Lewisville officials were thrilled with the deal.
“We made out like bandits,” Assistant City Manager Fuller Pyles told the Dirtpile.
“Not only are we going to be collecting a per-ton host fee on what comes in, we’ll be getting a bunch of extras.“
Pyles said the combined landfill will donate 100 acres of park land along S.H. 121 Business, partially from its own holdings and partially from acquired land. Farmers Branch will also pay for Lewisville’s new nature park at Corporate and Valley Parkway and contribute $100,000 per year to an activities fund for special events.
City facilities will get free trash hauling services, and residents will get trash services from Waste Management at cost.
Dallas Water Utilities was weighing its options and said a lawsuit was probable, since any breech of the containment would affect drinking water.