The Denton City Council approved guaranteed volume contracts for landfill disposal Tuesday with two private companies and one government entity.
Council members voted to authorize the contracts with Wise County, Frontier Waste and Community Waste to use the city landfill on Mayhill Road. Community Waste and Frontier Waste currently use the landfill, while Wise County does not.
The three parties will deposit a maximum of 115,500 tons of solid waste annually for the next three years and generate an estimated $3.3 million in revenue for the city, according to the Denton Solid Waste and Recycling Department.
Prior to the approval of the contracts Tuesday, the third parties in question could deposit waste at an inconsistent rate, said Brian Boerner, the city’s solid waste director. The contracts will provide a consistent revenue stream for the city and help eliminate debt.
“These contracts guarantee levels of certainty for each of the third parties, as well as the city,” Boerner said. “This will help us pay down our debts more rapidly.”
The Denton landfill is currently under-recovering expenses by $3.8 million, according to Boerner. He said that was a result of the purchase of equipment for the landfill. Boerner and council members said that debt should not be shouldered by citizens.
The council considered authorizing contracts with a total of five business, including Waste Connections Lone Star Inc. and Allied Waste Services of Fort Worth. However, council members split 3-3 on those two proposals, citing the potential of a dangerous precedent being set. Mayor Chris Watts and council members Gerard Hudspeth and John Ryan voted for the Waste Connections and Allied contracts, while council members Keely Briggs, Deb Armintor and Paul Meltzer voted against. Council member Jesse Davis was absent.
The Solid Waste Department also proposed a contract with the city of Little Elm but must wait for a vote on the measure. If Little Elm approves the proposal during its own council meeting Tuesday, the Denton City Council will vote on the contract at its next meeting.
If all contracts are approved, the Solid Waste Department expects to see a $2.6 million increase in landfill revenue, bringing its total annual revenue to $5.3 million.
In total, the six parties could deposit a maximum 190,080 tons of waste each year. Boerner said he is aware of residents’ concerns about the volume of waste and is mindful of the environmental implications.
“You can be certain that this process will be managed with the highest manner of concern,” Boerner said. “We are always conscious of environmental impact, and consistently try to lessen ours.”