Design Contract for Solid Waste Compost Facility

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – At today’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting, Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo and the City Council authorized the award of a professional services contract to Risa Weinberger & Associates, Inc., to provide conceptual design, process design, and permitting services for a new Solid Waste Compost Facility, located in Council District 3, in an amount of $126,508.00, with FY 2021 funding available from the Landfill Capital Fund.

“I am proud to see composting coming to our community. City Council's action today is a commitment to providing cost-saving, greener options for Corpus Christi,” said Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo.

This contract represents Phase 1 of work including conceptual design and permitting to develop the new compost facility. Phase 2 will include recommendations for the design, bid, and construction of the facility.

The J.C. Elliott Landfill and Transfer Station has been in operation since the 1970s and is located on approximately 158-acres of City property. The Corpus Christi community utilizes the landfill and transfer station for waste disposal. Due to increasing customer demand for operations and composting, the J.C. Elliott Landfill has outgrown its facilities and existing space for new usage is limited. The Solid Waste Department has proposed the development of a Solid Waste Facility Complex to meet both the City’s and residents’ growing needs. The proposed Solid Waste Facility Complex consists of three major projects: a new administration building, a new transfer station (including consolidated fueling and parking for the transfer and collection fleets), and a new compost facility.

City staff has achieved several important milestones in the development of this project, including City Council approval in August 2020 to purchase 92 acres of farmland adjacent to the current J.C. Elliott Transfer Station (an ideal location to consolidate Solid Waste Department operations), issuing a Request for Qualification solicitation, and selection of professional engineers for the design of the new administration building, transfer station, and compost facility projects.

Currently, Corpus Christi does not have the capacity to process organic solid waste materials that can be diverted from landfilling through composting. Typically, approximately half of municipal waste that is landfilled can potentially be recycled as compost material if segregated appropriately. Processing select organic waste by manufacturing compost would prolong the life of the City’s landfill. A composting program utilizing the available wastewater sludge, yard waste, food waste, ground brush, and other feedstock would divert an estimated 120,000 cubic yards of raw mixed organic materials per year to composting, thereby conserving valuable landfill space for non-composted materials. The new facility will require a “Registration Tier” authorization by the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

To achieve the requirements mentioned, this project will be completed in two phases. Phase 1 will entail conducting an analysis of the site to determine its composting capacity after considering the land requirements necessary for the operation of the transfer station, administration building, and fleet services complex. Phase 1 will include development of a conceptual process and facility design, appropriate for TCEQ authorization. This phase of the project will include TCEQ authorization of the composting facility operation, stormwater permitting and authorization of an ongoing compost refund from TCEQ. This also will include the opinion of probable costs and is estimated to be completed in four months.

Risa Weinberger & Associates, Inc. was selected for the Professional Engineering Service in August 2020 under RFQ 3222, and the Solid Waste Compost Facility was the only project announced in the RFQ. Three firms submitted qualifications for this project announcement.

Phase 2 of the project, to be presented to Council at a future date this year, will include development of detailed plans and specifications for construction, construction cost estimate, construction bid administration and construction phase services. The projected preliminary schedule reflects City Council award in March 2021, with conceptual design, process design, and permitting completion anticipated in January 2022. The project schedule is dependent on timely issuance of Notice to Proceed and is based on estimated time periods for TCEQ review and response. Phase 2 will commence after completion of Phase 1.

For more information, media representatives can contact Public Information Officer Cynthia Garcia at 361-826-3528 or by email at