Since the first of this year I have tried to share the current and future plans for each of the City departments in my columns each week. One department that I have not covered yet is the Landfill and the Garbage collection, but that too is an area that we are pleased with and looking forward to additional improvements. At this time the landfill is functioning well and looking really good, and providing a very necessary service to our City residents and all of the County community as well. This past hunting season we offered free dumping to the local deer processors and all hunters who dropped off animal carcasses with them, and that helped tremendously to keep our town clean and the waste from hunting disposed of properly. The City has also offered free dump passes to several residents that have tried to clean up seriously overgrown property or dilapidated buildings to help them keep our town clean and bring their property into compliance with our City codes. In addition we are working closely with the landfill inspectors to address any concerns they have about our operation with timely and direct solutions to every problem.
We really appreciate all of the concerned citizens who are taking as much of their garbage as is reasonable to the Recycle Center for handling rather than just setting it out for the garbage truck to take to the landfill. We are diverting a significant proportion of our solid waste to Recycling and hope to increase the public involvement knowing that will save landfill space and extend the expected life of this valuable City service. We estimate that there is in excess of fifteen years of usable life in the existing landfill, and will in the next few months survey the current buildup of the garbage to verify that estimate; but even then we are looking ahead to how we can deal with the garbage for future generations. The City will be working to rebuild the sewer plant next to the landfill during the next two years, but we have already planned with our engineering consultants to begin the lengthy process of applying for additional landfill permit and space in 2015 so that we can meet the needs of the future. Our biggest problem now and for the future is finding enough dirt to cover the refuse and garbage that is brought into the landfill every day, so if you know of an unnecessary pile of dirt somewhere we would be glad to know of it!
In the next month we will be offering one of the programs that is often well used by many of our residents when we again offer free dumping for spring clean-up. The City will also provide a used tire collection and disposal to the community, starting on February 20, and we expect to have free dumping at the landfill on that last weekend in February. We must get approval from our TCEQ regulators to extend the landfill hours for free dumping, so we will publish the actual hours we are offering that service in the next week or two, but if you have yard debris, household garbage or other trash you need to haul to the dump now is the time to start planning you own Clean-up to help beautify our town this spring. Look for more information in the next couple of weeks here in the paper, or call the City office in mid-February when we should know all of the particulars.
Garbage is one of those things that we all want to be “out of sight” so that it can be “out of mind” also, and the City is always working to provide a clean and safe hometown for all of us. I am proud of our Solid Waste department, both the Landfill and Garbage collection and the Recycle Center and its contributions, and I think the employees who keep it all under control are one of the biggest contributors to keeping Mason the best hometown in Texas. If you see one of them tell them “thank you” and consider doing your part to keep our landfill lasting as long as possible and as clean as necessary by recycling all you can and making plans to participate in our free dump program in a few weeks.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley