Texas Landfill Fees are Low (Really Low).
Landfilling is notoriously cheap in Texas. Take a look at the chart below and read on to find out why landfill fees matter for local recycling practices.
LANDFILLING IS CHEAP IN TEXAS
Texas is the 6th cheapest state in the nation to dump in, ahead of Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, and Utah. Of the most populous 25 states (displayed in the chart above), it's the 2nd cheapest (behind only Louisiana).
The cost of dumping at a landfill is known as a 'tipping fee', and is a vital part of the resource management equation of any given community. In Dallas (and in Texas, generally), tipping fees are among the lowest in the country, providing businesses with a cost-friendly alternative to recycling, composting, and other responsible resource recovery practices.
Landfill tipping fees affect recycling rates because they directly dictate the competitiveness of landfilling as it relates to other available methods of resource management, including recycling, composting, reuse, reduction, and even incineration. The lower the price of landfilling, the more attractive it becomes to local businesses as a way of managing discarded resources.
In Dallas, the tipping fee at McCommas Bluff Landfill was less than $21.94 at the start of this campaign, making it the cheapest landfill (of 11 private and public landfills) in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and less than half the cost of Austin's Travis County Landfill $47.55 fee. As tipping fees throughout the region have increased, the City of Dallas has avoided raising McCommas Bluff's rates "in order to minimize the risk of losing major non-contracted commercial customers."
The City wants business at its landfill because it creates jobs and generates revenue. In 2015-16, McCommas Bluff's landfill-disposal revenues totaled approximately $23.5 million - more than 11 times the $2.1 million generated by Dallas's recycling program.
Unfortunately, by keeping landfill rates at McCommas Bluff low, the City discourages responsible resource recovery practices, as it is difficult for privately-owned recyclers (and landfills) to compete with publicly-owned & -operated landfills.
It is #RTBD's contention that the City of Dallas should increase landfill tipping fees at McCommas Bluff to at least the regional average (if not higher). In our opinion, this would not only provide the necessary financial impetus for local businesses to endorse resource recovery practices (which are better for the the local environment, economy, and population), but also allow the landfill to operate more profitably.