The Covel Gardens property was permitted as a Type I Municipal Solid Waste Landfill in 1992. The City of San Antonio (COSA) closed its old Nelson Gardens Landfill located adjacent to Covel Gardens and annexed Covel Gardens into the city limits in conjunction with the issuance of the landfill permit. Essentially, Waste Management’s Covel Gardens replaced the COSA Nelson Gardens Landfill.
Prior to development of the property, the land was predominantly used for grazing cattle with some crop production. A thorough investigation of the property was conducted by Waste Management and it was determined that there were no endangered species nor any historical artifacts located on the land. Additional studies defined floodplains, geology and hydrogeology. All studies revealed the property was favorable for landfill development.
Originally, Covel Gardens existed on only 176 acres with three phases of development permitted for waste disposal. These were Phases I, II and III. The facility received Permit No. 2093 from the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC - now known as The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or TCEQ) on February 5, 1992 and began operation on September 29, 1993. Under Permit No. 2093 only 75 acres of the site were permitted for waste disposal.
On December 11, 1997 the TNRCC granted approval for the expansion of Covel Gardens. The 478-acre facility as it exists today is a result of this expansion. Phases IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX were permitted for waste disposal. The expansion permit also included the approval to accept Class 1 Industrial Waste for disposal.
Most recently, Waste Management was granted a second expansion permit by TCEQ. As of June 29, 2006 Covel Gardens now encompasses a total of 783 acres with a disposal footprint of 480 acres. Permitted capacity of the site is 124.1 million cubic yards and the facility now operates under TCEQ Permit # 2093B.