BROWNWOOD, Texas - You don't typically hear the words "beautiful" and "landfill" in the same sentence, but the City of Brownwood Sanitation and Landfill Departments received the Keep Texas Beautiful Government Award this year.
The Government Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the state's environment.
The City of Brownwood owns and operates it's own landfill and sanitation pick up.
Pick up starts early and continues into the afternoon, and then the waste is dumped in the landfill.
Solid Waste Services Manager for the City of Brownwood Tim Airheart said beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
"It's pretty to me. I've been working here for 19 years, I've seen this landfill go from what it once was to what it is now," said Airheart.
After an area of the landfill reaches 140 feet, "It'll all be sealed up in a nice plastic bag, and then we'll put four feet of dirt over the top of that, so it'll never be a problem for the environment," said Airheart.
All of that dirt will help the trash decompose faster.
The departments also offer several types of recycling to limit the amount of waste going into the landfill.
"We collect cardboard and recyclables at our recycling center. We try to provide all the services that the citizens of Brownwood and Brown County desire. We provide those services that you just don't get in a lot of other cities," said Airheart.
Trash may not be appealing in everyone's eyes, but the view from Brownwood's landfill is hard to compete with.
Seven surrounding counties use the landfill.
This past year, over 62,000 tons of solid waste was collected at the landfill.
It covers about 130 acres, but the permit for the landfill covers about 648 acres.
At the current rate, the landfill can be used for another 117 years.