AUSTIN (KXAN) - The city of Austin has a plan to put a sunny smile on a foul-smelling problem.
Austin Resource Recovery , an arm of city government, is looking at different models to that would convert old landfills near some neighborhoods into energy-producing solar farms.
That would help the city handle the growing concerns residents have with landfills nearby. The idea to cut the garbage is a part of a "Zero Waste" plan the city has.
Melanie McAfee didn't welcome having a landfill built in the backyard of her 1898 antique home.
"It's horrible for the home values, it's horrible for what that lurking mound of trash looks like," said McAfee. "What's going to happen?"
To answer concerned residents' questions the city now has a "Zero Waste" plan to cut down on the amount of garbage that makes it to the landfill.
"The plan for the city's long-term goal is to reach 90 percent waste reduction by the year 2040," said Jeffrey Paine, of the city's "Zero Waste" planning board.
It's a plan to stop neighbors like Mcafee from complaining about the big mound of trash right next door.
"There is a tremendous odor issue. Many times the children can't go out for play," said McAfee.
Another part of the city's plan is to turn old landfills around town into solar energy panel farms.
San Antonio was the first city to install the solar panels in old landfills back in 2008. Other cities like Atlanta, Georgia and Syracuse, New York also hopped on board. Solar landfills exist in other states, as well, like New Jersey and Massachusetts.
"Right now we are just in the planning stages, so hopefully later this year we are going to be speaking to some engineering firms to give us some assistance," said Donald Hardee, of Austin Resource Recovery.
Although in the early stages, the plan would help resident like McAfee breathe a little easier and turn Austin's brown landfills into a greener solution.
"Hopefully the folks will be filling up with recycling carts, and their trash cans will be empty," said Hardee.
Austin Resource Recovery is also looking at raising the cost of trash pick-ups to encourage recycling. And while the city has years to go before bringing the solar panels to life, it is a step in the right direction.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.