DALLAS – There's more loose at the McCommas Bluff Landfill than trash –– it's also the money.
A new audit by City Auditor Craig Kinton has found more than $1 million lost at the landfill over the past 10 years.
The city takes trash and turns it into treasure; fees paid by haulers annually dump $17 million into the city's general fund. But the just-released audit found the city could get more. City Council members like Sandy Greyson are not happy.
"The controls were loose, the financial controls weren't there like they needed to be," Greyson said.
The auditor found unattended and unsecured cash that haulers paid at checkpoints. It also found the landfill didn't properly verify commercial trucks so they would pay the full fee, which resulted in $1.1 million in revenue likely lost over the last 11 years.
The auditor added that sanitation management was aware of the problem, as it was first told back in 2009. So the recent demotion and reassignment of Sanitation Director Mary Nix isn't likely a coincidence.
Kelly High, who had been in charge of Trinity Watershed Management and who briefed a council committee Tuesday on the landfill, is the now the interim director.
"We're going to tighten up those internal controls and work through these, kinda, one by one to make sure we've got this under control," High said.
The critical audit and management shakeup follow a recent controversial long term trash plan criticized for lacking public input and the failed attempt to force haulers to send all their trash to the landfill to make more money.
For now, the council must settle for collecting what's lost.
"We need that million dollars," Greyson said. "We need all the money we can get and so absolutely those operations need to be tightened up out there."