Landfill Loss Debate in Tall City

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A foul-smelling debate has emerged in Midland. It concerns the Midland Landfill, and it has officials disagreeing.

The city's landfill has been losing money for years.

At the beginning of the month, Midland City Council members talked about whether or not to let a private company manage the landfill to help offset the losses.

Most of them were against it and voted it down because they were afraid of privatization and not meeting the Tall City's standards.

"They bring in their philosophies and different things and that's not all bad," Midland Director of Solid Waste Morris Williams, Jr, said. "But we know what our citizens expect right here in Midland, Texas, and we want to provide that service for them."

Council members who voted in favor of the request said it would be more of a partnership, just to hear their options.

"What revenue can we bring in from outside to help save the taxpayers money? Put some money into the general fund," City Councilman, Michael Trost, said.

The Solid Waste Department confirmed the setbacks, and there is concern for Midlanders, as their garbage pick-up rates have already gone up to cover the loss.

"It's not so much that it lost money," Trost said. "It's that regaining the momentum again to get the things done that I think what the citizens of Midland want to see is going to be a very, very expensive proposition to catch up."

But city officials say they don't anticipate losing any more money this year, getting back to the black.

They tell NewsWest 9 the increased rates were necessary in order to bring the balance back and keep the service going.

"Keep the rates as low as possible and still remain self-sustained. That is our goal and that's what we're going to shoot for over the next couple years," Williams said.

Only time will tell if rates will stay the same.