HOUSTON (KIAH) – If you drive 50 miles north of Houston you will come across a massive and beautiful 160,000-acre woodland stretching across Montgomery, San Jacinto and Walker County. Welcome to Sam Houston National Forest. A popular spot for hiking, camping, biking, and fishing alike! It is also home to animals like the red-cockaded woodpecker, which was designated as an endangered species in 1970, as well as deer quail, squirrels, and dove.
This precious space is being threatened by a proposed landfill project. The landfill is planned to be built within 100 feet of the FEMA 100-year flood plain, and the leachate collection tank would be approximately 200ft from the Sam Houston National Forest Boundary. Leachate is the contaminated liquid that flows throw landfills, generated from waste mixed with outside water, including rainwater. Leachate contains elevated levels of ammonia which then produces nitrate. “Dead zones” are then formed due to the lack of oxygen making it impossible for animals to survive. Reports of Mercury have also been found in leachate due to the hazardous materials in landfills. The placement of this landfill will have 300-500 garbage trucks trafficking the wooded area disrupting wildlife and the natural ecosystem. (To make room for a landfill, it typically means clearing out land that would otherwise be a home for wildlife and native vegetation.)
A lot of times when farmers get old, you sell your farm and use that to retire on, our property value is going to go down, but who is going to want to buy a farm right next to a landfill?Van Weldon
Not only would impacts be environmentally driven, but from a social standpoint… an access route is expected to run through residential areas where kids wait for the bus in the morning and play outside in the afternoons. Many reports from around the world have proven the negative impacts living next to a landfill has on one’s health.
One family farm is outraged by this proposal and is wanting your help. Wood Duck Farm is located near this sight and is worried about the future of their sustainable farming business with the pending status of this proposed landfill. Wood Duck Farm is an 80-acre farm that provides healthy pesticide free food to Houstonians. The size of the proposed landfill combined is equivalent to 18 Minute Maid parks. Van Weldon’s farm is also on this plot of land. His biggest concern is the contaminated runoff ruining his crops and soil.
It is important to credit the benefit of landfills, as they do serve a key role in the health and cleanliness of our communities. However, location is a VITAL factor to their benefit and social impact. There are also many contributions you can make as a citizen that can reduce the reliance we have on these landfills. This includes composting, recycling, and avoiding single use plastics!
Moving forward, the landfill will NOT accept the following:
To help Van Weldon defend his farm you can find more information on his website: