At Texas Disposal Systems, we live by our commitment to the environment ... literally. We built a pavilion and animal ranch right next door to our primary landfill in Creedmore, TX. There we've given a new home to more than 100 species of exotic and not-so exotic animals — some who are critically endangered in their home countries. Those are the animals you see on the sides of our collection trucks. We believe that our planet will sustain us if we act as responsible stewards. And if we believe it, we figure we should live it, too.

This all started when Bob and Jim Gregory founded Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) in 1977 with one collection truck and one customer. Today, the TDS family of businesses includes the landfill, Texas Organic Products, Garden-Ville and other subsidiaries statewide. We strive to provide the highest quality waste processing services possible, and are proud of our SWANA honor as Best Landfill in North America. We’re equally pleased to be honored for our safety record and that we enjoy the support of our neighbors, our customers and our partnership with several Central Texas municipalities and with the Austin Independent School District.

With expansion, our business capabilities have grown far beyond our initial mission. Here's an overview:

Landfill operations - We have more than two decades of experience managing landfills and waste-transfer stations. In addition to our central operations in Creedmoor (named Best Landfill in North America by the Solid Waste Association), we operate a landfill in Alpine, TX, citizen drop-off locations in Bee Cave and Georgetown and transfer operations in San Antonio. We strive to return excavated landfill areas to an environmentally robust natural condition. Our goal is to leave the land better than we found it, with improved drainage, irrigation and re-seeded with natural grasses, hay and new tree growth. Besides these “clean” waste disposal sites, we are experienced in handling industrial waste, municipal wastewater sludge, asbestos and can provide turnkey disaster cleanup services.

Recycling - For us, recycling begins at the landfill where we reclaim repairable or reusable items from inbound truckloads to a resale shop that Austin Chronicle calls “the best unadvertised garage sale in Austin.” We also process recyclables at one of the most modern and efficient, highly-automated, single-stream material recycling facilities anywhere in Texas. Current throughput is up to 10,000 tons of unseparated material a month. A second sorting line configured for commercial recyclables is on the drawing boards that is able to sort any type of recycled materials.

Commodities - Our recycling process results in a wide variety of commodities — plastics, glass, paper products, ferrous and non-ferrous metals — that we sell on the open market. In addition to single-stream collection we also operate heavy-scrap operations in San Angelo and Austin. We find that cost-conscious manufacturers are finding new and innovative uses for these new product “feedstocks.”

Eco-industrial development - Perhaps the most exciting of our long-term plans is an effort to develop local eco-industrial parks. We are partnering with other green-vision entrepreneurs to create manufacturing sites at our facilities to use the commodities and resources TDS develops for new products and manufacturing processes. The hope is that one company’s waste can become another’s feedstock; that the resources spawned by one, could power that of his neighbor — all sustaining that dance of local material used locally then reused locally ... while reducing the carbon footprint of shipping materials around the globe.

Transportation - We have a fleet of more than 200 vehicles — from different styles of waste-collection trucks to 18-wheelers. All are connected by a robust dispatch and tracking system with an automated GPS tracking system.

Green Builder / Green Event Services - In 2003 we launched our Green Builder Services program to help local contractors recycle at least 50 percent of their demolition and construction waste to achieve LEED certification under Austin and U.S. guidelines. Those programs require the kind of detailed reporting TDS provides. We also have developed a Green Event Services program to help make large local gatherings less hazardous to our own environment. Clients include Austin City Limits Festival, ESPN Gameday and the Austin Marathon.

Organics - TDS started diverting biosolids from its landfill in 2000. At our landfill we practice large-scale windrow composting and develop custom, all-natural mulches, compost products and soil blends, which we sell in bulk and in retail packaging to commercial and residential landscapers under the Garden-Ville brand. We are working to expand the collection portion of that business with new food-waste collection programs for schools and businesses.

Carbon Forestry - Because we see ourselves as stewards of our environment, we have pledged to offset the carbon footprint of our transportation fleet by creating our own oxygen-producing machines — trees. We’ve devoted 40 acres at our Creedmoor site to a tree farm where we cultivate up to 20,000 trees, shrubs and grasses. We award trees to some of our partner cities that attain a high target rate for collected recyclables.

Renewable resources - Landfill management has presented us with several diverted or repurposed byproducts that serve as renewable resources, among them water, methane gas and even a replacement fuel for coal that’s made from a seemingly endless supply of used and discarded vehicle tires. It’s conceivable that some of these resources could provide electricity in a self-sustaining, closed-end power loop.

At Texas Disposal Systems we believe in treating everyone we encounter with courtesy, dignity and respect; that we are all stewards of our one and only planet and that our work should be measured not only by the successes we might have in business, but in our adherence to God’s principles and Christian values.