Landfills: More Important Than Ever

In fast-growing population areas like greater Houston, it’s difficult to underestimate the importance of urban planning issues like traffic flow and residential development, because everyone wants to spend less time in traffic, live in convenient and beautiful neighborhoods, and have inexpensive access to clean water, gas and electricity.

But few people give much thought to landfills that support the explosive population growth of urban centers. After all, landfills are the most common form of waste disposal in the United States—accounting for 56 percent of collected solid waste—and an important component of an integrated waste management system.

Sprint Waste Services president and co-owner Will Swinbank says the need for safe, efficient landfill space is increasingly important along the Texas Gulf Coast. “As more and more people come here seeking a better way of life, supporting the area’s rapidly expanding neighborhoods and communities with safe and sustaining landfill space is essential. We take this responsibility seriously and always look for ways to be a good neighbor in Fort Bend County and other areas where we operate.”

While landfills may look chaotic and random—like a dump, you might say—today’s properly permitted and maintained landfills are carefully constructed and planned—from the bottom up. The Sprint Fort Bend County Landfill has been engineered so the bottom of the mounds are lined with a 4-foot foundation of clay and protective cover, designed to protect groundwater and mitigate environmental contamination.

Today’s Landfill, Tomorrow’s Park

Federal and state regulations make sure today’s landfills meet strict design, operation and closure requirements. When a landfill reaches the end of its useful life, it is capped according to stringent guidelines to ensure the site will be safely closed and monitored into the future, even if the closing is decades away. Closed landfill sites are often used for recreational purposes such as parks and nature preserves, walking trails, and golf courses.

Open to the public for more than two decades as a safe disposal site for area businesses and residents, the Sprint Fort Bend County Landfill operates under a type IV permit. That means the landfill accepts only inert, discarded construction, demolition and landscaping materials such as roofing scraps, plastics, wood, concrete, bricks, old furniture and appliances. Residential and household trash, garbage and recyclables are never accepted at type IV landfills.

Other facts you might not know about the Sprint Fort Bend County Landfill:

  • It is the highest point of land in Fort Bend County—at its approximately 150-foot elevation—and it’s getting higher by the truckload.
  • If the landfill operates at current volumes, it has approximately 25 years of useful life remaining and is expected to reach 200 feet.
  • Trees and other clean organics collected at the landfill are processed for beneficial reuse as mulch and compost.
  • All areas of the landfill receive daily watering and sweeping to help control litter and dust.

Another Landfill in Montgomery County

In April Sprint Waste Services announced the purchase of land near Conroe, Texas, that is permitted to accept construction debris. The Montgomery County landfill is in the early development stages, is expected to open in approximately one year, and will have close to 100 years of useful life.

The Montgomery County landfill, with 475 permitted acres, will serve a growing need in the rapidly expanding southern Montgomery County urban centers of The Woodlands, Conroe and Cleveland.  By providing a designated home for the millions of tons of inert construction debris that will be generated in the area over the next several decades, the landfill will play a major role in facilitating the planned economic expansions of the area, while lessening the environmental impacts often associated with large urban and industrial growth. This unique site contains large additional acreages that are planned to include managed forests, environmental preserves and wildlife habitat conservation.

Learn more about our landfill in Fort Bend County