KATY (Covering Katy News) – The Greenhouse Road Landfill was, originally developed when Katy was a much more rural area with fewer homes. Now, owners of the facility are applying to expand their operations located at Greenhouse and Clay Roads in unincorporated Harris County.
Landfill operators are asking environmental regulators for permission to grow their operation by 30 acres. Neighbors say “expanding the landfill further into our community is not acceptable.”
The Greenhouse Road Landfill is also asking to be allowed to operate for another 30 years, but residents point out that when the landfill was given its original permit there weren’t as many homes in the area. They say it’s been an eyesore, a safety issue and it smells.
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The landfill owner is Garry Weiss, president of G.O. Weiss Inc. The company’s application for expansion says the height of the landfill would increase nearly 20 feet when it’s full. Weiss applied to the Texas Commissioner on Environmental Quality to expand its operations in November of 2016. The total expansion would be 31 acres. One acre would be used as a buffer between the landfill and surrounding properties.
The landfill is near Katy schools. Schmaltz Elementary School and Cardiff Junior High School are nearby. Wellspring Children’s Academy and Mayde Creek North Hike Trail are all close to the Greenhouse road dumpsite, as is the Special Pals animal shelter.
“This area of west Houston used to be more rural when the landfill was built in the early 1980’s, but now it is a well developed residential area,” says a petition being circulated online by residents. “We want to clean up our area and keep it safe for our families. Expanding the landfill further into our community is not acceptable,” it also says.
Weiss says his operation has been a good neighbor.
“Over the life of the landfill we have worked with the county and developments to be a good neighbor,” Weiss told KHOU TV. He also reportedly noted that his operation will withstand a 100-year flood event.
The debate has gotten the attention of Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack. Radack reportedly share’s the resident’s concerns.
Harris County intends to join the expansion discussion. Steve Radack, the commissioner for Harris County Precinct 3, said that he stands with his constituents in opposing the expansion and has asked the county attorney’s office to request a contested hearing through the TCEQ.
With Radack comes the involvement of the county engineer, the county flood control district, and others.
It’s a debate that won’t be ending anytime soon.
See neighborhood map below: