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Dallas Wanting To Turn Trash To Treasure

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Faleshia Rhodes takes pride in her South Dallas home. She lives across from Paul Quinn College and about two miles from the city-run landfill known as McCommas Bluff. It’s no wonder she’s displeased with a proposal to haul even more trash into her Highland Hills neighborhood.

“We got a lot of things that could be done that would be more advantageous to the neighborhood instead of a dump. It’s been out there for a while and we get to breathe that stuff every day.”

The City of Dallas calls the proposal “Trash To Treasure.”  The sanitation department pitched the idea to 250 concerned neighbors who live near the dump site.

The city currently hauls 1.4 million tons of waste a year to the McCommas Bluff site. The proposal would increase that amount to 2.3 million tons a year.

Michael Sorrell, the President of Paul Quinn College, says there are better ideas to bring to the neighborhood than just garbage.  “I think what needs to come to this community are grocery stores and housing and things that are true economic developments that make the citizens feel they’re a valued part of this city.”

Currently, 100% of the garbage picked up at single family homes in Dallas is sent to McCommas Bluff.  But only 50% of the trash from private businesses, including apartment complexes, is dumped at the site.  The city wants the remaining 50% to go there as well.   “We’re trying to find out how to make revenue and how to stop trash from going outside of the city,” said councilman Tennell Atkins.

The sanitation department believes trash means cash. The more garbage that comes in; the more likely energy companies will invest in waste-to-energy technology.

The city says at least two energy companies are interested in turning the landfill into a Resource Recovery Facility. In simple terms, it’s an indoor plant that converts waste into fuel.

The city says these Resource Recovery Facilities will help Dallas eventually replace its landfills and the large, exposed piles of garbage that come with them, while at the same time, attracting jobs and other businesses to South Dallas.

The goal is to build five of the recovery facilities throughout the city within the next two to five years.

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