Permit will extend life of landfill

The City of Kingsville’s Municipal Landfill will have an increased life expectancy of about 98 years after final approval of a TCEQ permit amendment later this year. 

The lifespan of the of the City of Kingsville’s Municipal Landfill will more than double to an anticipated 98 years as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is nearing final approval on a permit amendment that will allow for increased capacity within the existing area. 

“It’s been a long process to get this done,” Kingsville Public Works Director Bill Donnell said. “But it secures a long-term vision for the residents of Kingsville to have a place to dispose of their garbage.”

The Kingsville Landfill was originally permitted for 40 acres by the state in 1977. The site was expanded by an additional 40 acres in 1986 and by about another 40 acres in 1999.

“So we were at about 120 acres permitted,” Donnell said.

Prior to the amendment, the life expectancy of the existing permitted sectors of the landfill was estimated to be about 43 years. That lifespan is calculated using the expected rate of solid waste deposited at the landfill, along with an increase of deposits at about one percent per year corresponding to anticipated population growth.

The Kingsville Landfill receives approximately 100.46 tons of garbage per day, six days a week, which is nearly 31,400 tons of waste per year.

Donnell said the process to extend the life expectancy at the city’s landfill began at least six years ago, including not just applying for the permit amendment for capacity expansion through TCEQ but also a $1.37 million project in 2017 to expand one of its existing, active sectors.

The permit amendment, once approved, allows for increases to total capacity through both vertical and horizontal expansion within the same perimeter footprint, Donnell said, including maximum elevation increasing from 125 feet to 200 feet.

“So we’re looking at gaining at least 10 more years just filling up the sections that are already lined,” Donnell said. “And it pushes back when we’ll need to do another (sector) expansion.”

For new sectors, the expansion will allow for deeper excavation, from the current 22.5 feet to 42.5 feet.

In addition to expanded capacity at existing and future sectors, Donnell said the permit amendment will also allow for the Kingsville Landfill to utilize the landfill’s original acreage, which had long-since been closed.

“We’ll be able to go on top of that with a new liner and expand vertically,” he said.

With the permit amendment, the Kingsville Landfill’s capacity will increase by about 12.4 million cubic yards for nearly 5.1 million more tons of waste. That increase, based on anticipated waste disposal and population growth, is estimated to increase the landfill’s life expectancy to about 98 years.

“So in our lifetime, and probably our kids’ lifetime, there’s no reason that the residents of Kingsville should have to haul their trash to another town,” Donnell said.

Donnell said the permit amendment is currently in “draft approval,” and will not officially in effect until after a 30-day public comment period.

“We have to do a public advertisement that we are doing a permit amendment at the landfill, so if anybody has a public comment then we’ll have a meeting,” he said. “If not, then it’ll go back to the executive director of TCEQ for final approval.”

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at or (361) 221-0251.

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