Carverdale residents fight to stop landfill expansion in the historic neighborhood

ByDerrick Lewis via KTRK logo
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Neighbors say this is a historic neighborhood where businesses are coming in and increasing the value of the area.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Carverdale residents are against a proposal to expand a landfill in their community.

Neighbors say they don't want the Hawthorn Park landfill there at all, let alone an expansion of it.

They are trying to stop it from happening. The residents say expanding the landfill will bring down the value of the historic neighborhood.

"When you have companies coming in to upgrade it, you want Waste Management now to come in and stop the upgrades we have going on," Reverend Vincent Lewis at Greater Macedonia Baptist Church said.

A TCEQ meeting was called to discuss the issue with neighbors.

"Over the years, when they brought the first dump in, it started to deteriorate our community," Lewis said. "It started to make the value go down, and we fought hard to get it closed in, so it closed down, and now they want to reopen it."

The community does not want TCEQ to give USA Waste of Texas Landfills or Waste Management permission to move forward with the proposal.

Dominique Calhoun, an attorney working for the residents, said he's going to make sure their voices are heard.

"It's extremely important that every resident in this community puts their concern in," Calhoun said. "TCEQ is required, mandated by the state, to respond to all of the concerns for the community."

Waste Management said in a statement to ABC13:

"USA Waste of Texas Landfills, Inc. (WM) filed an application with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to extend the life of the Hawthorn Park Landfill. For many years, the Hawthorn Park Landfill has provided construction and demolition (C&D) related waste disposal services to residents, communities, businesses, and contractors in Harris County and surrounding communities. This facility is engineered with environmental protection systems that meet or exceed rigorous government regulations and is subject to highly regulated monitoring and reporting requirements. Systems at Hawthorn Park include an engineered liner and covers and groundwater monitoring."

"Hawthorn Park is not a new landfill. This is an application to expand the current facility that has been in operation for many years, which WM acquired in 1996. Hawthorn Park is a Type IV landfill that accepts construction and demolition (C&D) material. Examples of C&D materials accepted at Hawthorn Park are concrete, brick, dirt, asphalt, wood, drywall, and rock. Hawthorn Park is not a Type I MSW Landfill and does not accept putrescible waste, conditionally exempt small-quantity generator waste, or household waste. The proposed expansion of this facility will remain within the existing site boundary. Hawthorn Park Landfill meets or exceeds the standards for the protection of human health and the environment required by law. The TCEQ is currently reviewing the proposed expansion to ensure it complies with all regulatory requirements."

Lewis said the details of the proposal would create an eyesore.

"It goes as high up as a 12-15 story building," he said. "So now, within the next five to seven miles, all you'll be able to see is a big old dump of trash."

A TCEQ meeting will be held Tuesday evening at Sterling Banquet Hall for people to ask questions and share their concerns.