Texas Disposal Systems

SXSW Eco: Texas Disposal Systems Tour

By Jordan Gass-Poore’
Web Content Manager

Some attendees of this year’s SXSW Eco had the opportunity to tour Texas Disposal Systems, an about 2,200-acre landfill, recycling and compost/soil blending (Texas Organic Products) facility in Creedmoor, Texas outside of Austin. TDS, founded in 1977 by brothers Bob and Jim Gregory, serves Central Texas and has become one of the largest independently-owned solid waste collection and disposal companies in the nation.

There’s also an about 1,200-acre exotic game ranch and resale area on-site.

Texas Disposal Systems
Texas Disposal Systems. Photo by Jordan Gass-Poore’.

We’re also open to the general public. So, say you cleaned out your garage, you had a pick-up load of trash that you wanted to bring out here: you would pull up to that gatehouse, you would pay at the gate, they would come out, they’re gonna measure your load, they’re gonna check and make sure you don’t have any oil, paint, batteries, tires — now, we’ll accept tires, those are handled separately.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Equality — they regulate us. (They’re the second largest environmental agency, behind the EPA.) [The] permeability rate … which means under pressure that liquid can’t travel through whatever we have to have … at a certain rate. Well, the clay out here, the natural clay, it has a permeability rate … two times the power of 10 greater than what the state requires, so we are one of the only landfills that doesn’t have to lay a liner in the bottom of our cell. So that is how we can compete with our big competitors.”

We don’t want any odor when you’re downwind from us. We don’t want there to be an odor for our neighbors. This sounds funny, but we get so much trash out here that it doesn’t have time to stink.”

We also shred all of the City of Austin’s Yellow Pages … We shred all of the documents for a large governmental firm I’m not supposed to say the name of, but you probably sent them a check a couple months ago.”

Texas Disposal Systems
Texas Disposal Systems. Photo by Jordan Gass-Poore’.

They can tell by the feel, you know, when they’re driving, they’ll say, ‘Okay, here’s a soft spot. We need to bring this type of waste over here.’ And they fill it in because we want that stuff packed as tight as we can possibly get it …”

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