Rail-hauled waste would not be accepted at the Marana Regional Landfill, the project's developer said last week.

Larry Henk of DKL Holdings said a ban on rail-hauled waste would be built into a development agreement being negotiated by his company and the Town of Marana.

"We will never accept any waste that has been transported by rail," the Chandler resident said in an interview.

Rail haul is seen as a way to economically move trash over a long distance. Landfill opponents fear the proposed Marana facility would accept trash from California. With the stipulation, the Marana project would accept trash only from trucks.

"Trucking over 150 miles, it just doesn't work," said Henk, who runs a trash collection company in greater Tucson. "Economically, I can't truck waste 300, 400 miles."

The company and town are building other requirements into the development agreement.

If the landfill is opened, DKL would pay tipping fees to both the Town of Marana and the Marana Unified School District, the latter at the desire of property owner and Marana Vice Mayor Herb Kai. Initial estimates are those fees would generate $450,000 a year to the town, and $150,000 to MUSD.

If DKL is unable to secure permits for the landfill, it has agreed that zoning in the property would revert to existing zoning. DKL is seeking a zone change now to allow the landfill project.

"We would not leave it in a no man's land," Henk said. "If we can't get the permit, the zoning goes away."

Henk said DKL would provide a roll-off dumpster at no charge monthly in any Marana neighborhood. "The spirit of that is neighborhood cleanups," he said, "and we've agreed to give vouchers to town officials for hardship cases."

If residents near the proposed project desire, Henk said the company would gather two background samplings of nearby drinking wells "at our expense prior to the opening of the facility." And, if owners desire, DKL would provide "periodically a testing of those wells" with samples to a third party for analysis.

"This is one of the most extensive reviews I've had at this level," said Henk, who has worked in the landfill business for 25 years. "I have to compliment the council and the mayor for what they've done.

"I've taken great pride in what I do, and I do it well," Henk said. "With my experience, I recognize the solid waste is being generated. It has to be managed in an environmentally safe, economically feasible manner."

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