When Danny DeVito’s character said in an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” that the “trash business is a goldmine,” he certainly wasn’t wrong.
Waste Management and Falls Township are set to financially benefit from the purchase of 64 acres for a landfill expansion.
Recently, Waste Management paid $14 million to purchase 64 acres from NorthPoint Development, which owns the 1,800 former U.S. Steel site and is developing it with warehouses. The news was broken last week by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
“The sale involved an arrangement in which Waste Management sold an option it had on 93 acres that had been owned by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to NorthPoint for $19.2 million and NorthPoint in turn sold a separate 64 acres to Waste Management,” the city-based business news organization reported.
A Waste Management spokesperson said he couldn’t say whether the company was seeking acquire more land in the area.
NorthPoint Development, of Kansas City, plans to construct 15 million square feet of new warehouse space and 5,000 to 10,000 jobs with a total investment of $1.5 billion over the coming years. The plan is to develop the “largest e-commerce, logistics, and multi-model industrial project on the East Coast” with room for as many as 20 new buildings constructed on speculative basis.
The current 252-acre abutting landfill in operation, which has 197 acres being used for dumping, is about 60 percent full and will remain operational for about six more years, said Bobby Jones, the senior district manager with Waste Management.
When the new landfill space becomes active by the end of 2027, it will give the company an additional four to five years of capacity, Jones said.
Waste Management officials noted there are upticks and drops in the amount of trash deposited in landfills, so those estimates could vary by a few years.
The types of trash dumped at the landfill will remain the same and come by truck.
Infrastructure work and permitting will have to be competed before the landfill expansion will become operational.
Falls Township is expecting a windfall as high as $150 million in impact and tipping fees over the lifetime of the expansion, Falls Township Board of Supervisors Chairperson Jeff Dence said.
Dence said the expansion was good news for the township.
The existing landfill is expected to bring in $14.8 million to Falls Township in 2022. The fees have helped keep Falls Township’s taxes at their 1992 level.
Waste Management closed the Tullytown Landfill several years ago after it was filled to capacity.
While the landfills have brought windfalls to Falls Township and Tullytown Borough over the decades, they have also brought complaints. In 2016, a class-action lawsuit over the odor from the now-closed Tullytown Landfill was settled for $2 million.
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