DALLAS, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- City of Dallas Sanitation Director Mary Nix has changed her story. After telling council members that the waste disposal industry would absorb the cost of the city's proposed flow control tax she recently told council members that "the hauler will naturally pass that cost along to their customers."
Nix said customers most heavily impacted will be those north of the LBJ Freeway, while she claimed that customers in Southern Dallas would save money because of shorter hauling distances in that area.
"The city staff is finally acknowledging what the industry has said all along," said Tom Brown, Texas Chapter President of the National Solid Wastes Management Association. "The additional costs from the flow control tax will have to be passed along to our customers and customers in the north will pay a disproportionate share of the tax burden."
Nix has downplayed the flow control tax burden by claiming it would only add "pennies to the cost" due to longer hauling distances. Nix failed to mention that in addition to longer hauling distances the city's only landfill charges significantly higher usage fees than privately operated landfills in the area or that the city's transfer station in north Dallas would charge a huge premium over the cost at the landfill.
"The actual cost of the flow control tax," said Brown, "will be $19 million dollars a year placing a real burden on businesses struggling to succeed in a difficult economy and making Dallas even less competitive with suburban communities."
The briefing also continued to use a material recycling facility in Roseville, California as an example of the type of facility her department wants to build in Dallas. But industry experts say that the cost of operating the facility far exceed the cost of using Texas landfills even after taking into account any income from recycled materials. Staff has shown the council video of the outside of the plant but hasn't shared its budget and operating expenses.
"Green initiatives have to make economic sense," said Brown. "The city would have to double or even triple the cost per ton for our customers to cover the cost of operating the materials recycling plant. Those costs would be still another tax that will make it less desirable to operate a business in Dallas."
The staff has also not shared the fact that the jobs created by the materials recycling facility are mostly low skilled positions such as sorting garbage. "Working together we can do better for Southern Dallas," said Brown.
SOURCE National Solid Wastes Management Association