The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), Texas’ Planning Region 4, has been designated by the State as the agency charged with developing the “Regional Solid Waste Management Plan for North Central Texas.” NCTCOG is responsible for guiding the implementation of the regional policies and actions set forth in this approved Regional Plan, and with coordinating local solid waste management efforts. In compliance with the planning and plan implementation guidelines outlining the need, responsibilities and composition of a solid waste committee by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), NCTCOG maintains the region’s solid waste advisory committee, the Resource Conservation Council (RCC). This important committee provides support and advice to the NCTCOG Executive Board on methods to conserve, recover and recycle valuable resources and to provide proper handling and disposal of non-recoverable waste materials. It represents the best group of volunteers available, both public and private.
For over twenty-five years, NCTCOG has been a driving force for sound regional solid waste management planning efforts. As early as 1973, a “Strategy for Solid Waste Management” for an eleven county area in North Central Texas was developed by NCTCOG. A forty-four member Regional Solid Waste Policy Development Committee, with membership consisting of a cross-section of both public and private interests, oversaw this planning endeavor. By 1979, NCTCOG created a committee called the “Environmental Resources Advisory Committee” (ERAC) to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Public Participation Regulations in Programs” requirements under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Water Act. The ERAC was comprised of twenty members with five individuals each representing the following categories: public officials; private citizens; public interest groups; and, representatives of organizations with substantial economic interest. Among the primary responsibilities of this committee was review of past solid waste management programs for the region.
By the mid-1980’s, the need for a more strategic assessment of the regional solid waste issues emerged due to new Federal landfilling mandates. To this end, the ERAC evolved into the Resource Conservation Council. This Regional Plan was developed by the RCC from 1989 through early 1991, and formally adopted by the state in 1992. In 2002, the RCC amended the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan to be consistent with the TCEQ statewide solid waste plan adopted in December 2000. This new state plan provides direction regarding specific priorities to be undertaken by each of the 24 Councils of Governments in Texas to amend their existing solid waste plans. The RCC worked diligently to craft an amended Regional Plan that was presented in draft in April 2002, and adopted by the NCTCOG Executive Board in June 2002. The amended Regional Plan was renamed the SEE Less Trash Regional Solid Waste Management Plan, and includes the “Closed/Abandoned Landfill Inventory for North Central Texas.”
“SEE” is an acronym for "Sustainable Environmental Excellence,” which is the guiding vision for the future of North Central Texas. The effort encourages regional cooperation and planning to address the region’s pressing environmental issues, including the vision to SEE Less Trash, with goals presented as:
Purchased materials are reused and recycled wherever possible, illegal dumping is significantly reduced, and remaining waste is handled in a safe manner a permitted facilities.
As part of the implementation of the SEE Less Trash Plan, the RCC membership serves as the grant review and oversight committee for the local government pass-through grant monies from the TCEQ. Also, the review of solid waste management facility permit applications and modifications in the region is a Plan implementation function performed by the RCC. A complete set of governing By-laws were executed and adopted for the RCC in the summer of 2001.