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Landfills and Recycling Focus

Texas News Service, August 1, 2013 By Texas News Service

Rayovac draws ire for refusal on Texas battery recycling

One of the nation's largest battery makers is being urged to plug in when it comes to recycling efforts in the state and across the country.

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Public News Service - TX, March 15, 2013 By John Michaelson

Should Houston trash plans for "One Bin for All" waste collection?

The city of Houston is being urged to trash its proposal for a one bin garbage and recycling system. It may sound like a novel idea on the surface, but some say it's really a step backwards.

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ABC 13 News Houston, June 21, 2012 By Miya Shay

Council members consider unusual proposals to trim budget

Video: City leaders are huddled for a marathon meeting about proposed changes to the city's multibillion-dollar budget. These are potentially significant decisions affecting everything from the mayor's term limits to whether you can use a plastic bag at the grocery store.

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Houston Business Journal, June 21, 2012 By Molly Ryan

Houston City Council passes $4.2B budget, amendments

Council passed its budget with multiple amendments, including one that forms an “Illegal Dumping Task Force” to coordinate the enforcement of roadside dumping rules, and another ordering the city to start discussions on how to limit plastic bag litter or to ban plastic bags.

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Houston Chronicle, June 20, 2012 By Chris Moran

Council OKs $4.2 billion budget, will consider plastic bag ban

The Houston City Council passed an amendment in its budget ordering city staff to start discussions about how to limit plastic bag litter and, perhaps, even a future ban on the bags.

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Houston Chronicle, June 13, 2012 By Chris Moran

"Pole tax," longer terms, plastic bag ban proposed in city

Houston City Council members on Wednesday proposed a fee on strip clubs to fund speedier testing of a backlog of rape evidence, extension of their terms from two years to four, and phasing out the use of plastic bags in grocery stores.

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Brownsville Herald, August 8, 2011 By Nicole Chavez

Austin, other Texas cities follow Brownsville's plastic bag ban

 Six months have passed since the plastic bag ban went into effect, and cities around Texas are following Brownsville's lead.

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Austin American-Statesman, August 5, 2011 By Sarah Coppola

City Council moves ahead on plastic bag ban

The Austin City Council took a first step late Thursday toward banning plastic bags at retail and grocery store checkouts. The council voted unanimously to direct city staffers to begin writing a ban with the help of retailers, environmental groups and others.

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Austin Chronicle, August 5, 2011 By Michael King

Proposed plastic bag ban will be popular – and under assault

According to the city's estimates, Austinites annually use 263 million single-use plastic bags – the sort we grab at checkout counters all across town – at a cost to the city of $850,000 for collection, litter control, landfill maintenance, and recycling contamination (they regularly jam the equipment). The visible litter is bad enough – there's scarcely a block in town entirely free of the plague – but there is no estimate available for the long-lasting environmental damage caused by the ubiquitous and nonbiodegradable throwaways.

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KUT News Austin, August 5, 2011 By Nathan Bernier

Austin Could Require Grocers To Charge for Plastic and Paper Bags

A plastic grocery bag ban proposed by elected city leaders last month could be changed to require a surcharge for both paper and plastic bags, such as five or ten cents.

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Austin American Statesman, July 25, 2011 By Alicia Mireles and Sarah Coppola

Mayor pushing to ban plastic bags at Austin stores

Austin retailers and grocery stores could no longer offer plastic bags at checkout counters under a ban Mayor Lee Leffingwell and two other City Council members will propose today.

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Houston Chronicle, July 6, 2011 By Chris Moran

No-bid recycling contract could get held up

There’s a 20-year no-bid contract fro Houston's recycling program on today’s City Council agenda. Environmentalists and Council Members are questioning the wisdom of the contract and pushing for an open, competitive bidding process.

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Texas Tribune, May 9, 2011 By Kate Galbraith

For Texas City, Plastic Bag Ban Brings Controversy

Brownsville, one of Texas' poorest big cities, has enacted a ban on single-use checkout bags in virtually all businesses. The policy, which took effect in January, has eliminated more than 350,000 bags per day, according to Mayor Pat Ahumada, who said that it has “transformed our city from littered and dirty to a much cleaner city.”

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El Paso Times, January 17, 2011 By Marty Schladen

Plan would charge fee for plastic grocery bags

Weeks after a ban on the thin plastic bags went into effect in Brownsville, El Paso, Austin and other Texas cities are talking about measures of their own.

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The Eagle, December 1, 2010 By Matthew Watkins

County backs 3 recycling bills

Brazos County joined a group of Texas counties Tuesday in urging the state to pass three new laws designed to encourage residents to recycle.

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KVUE News Austin, June 24, 2010 By Sarah Lucero

Is Texas next state to ban plastic grocery bags?

Video: There are more and more proposals being drawn up at the local and state level to eliminate or place a tax on the bags. Most are produced using oil, and, by some estimates, 90 percent end up dumped in a landfill or clogging up streams.

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Austin American-Statesman, June 9, 2010 By Shea, Schneider, Porter and McAfee

Op-Ed: Austin recycling too important to rush decision

Austin considers itself an environmental leader, yet it cannot seem to get recycling right. The City Council is now considering the selection of a partner for its long-term recycling operations after a flawed process.

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Austin American-Statesman, June 9, 2010 By Sarah Coppola

Austin recycling contract still up in the air

The Austin City Council is scheduled to choose one of three firms today to build and run an Austin recycling plant so the city can stop shipping recyclables to San Antonio. But the city's multiyear quest to figure out what to do with recyclables might have hit another snag.

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Associated Press, June 2, 2010 By Samantha Young

Calif. Moves To Ban Plastic Bags At Grocery Stores

The California Assembly on Wednesday passed legislation prohibiting pharmacies and grocery, liquor and convenience stores from giving out plastic bags.

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WFAA-TV Dallas/Ft. Worth, April 26, 2010 By

Stubborn fire burns at Dallas landfill

Video: A fire that broke out at the McCommas Bluff landfill in East Oak Cliff early Sunday evening was still burning Monday morning.

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Austin American Statesman, April 23, 2010 By Sarah Coppola

City of Austin could expand recycling

Small apartment complexes, offices would no longer have an exemption

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Waste & Recycling News, April 20, 2010 By Jim Johnson

Greens, not gas

Almost a dozen environmental groups — including San Francisco’s environmental department — wants to refocus a national program aimed at capturing and using methane from landfills.

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The Story of Stuff Project, March 23, 2010 By Annie Leonard

Watch The Story of Bottled Water

Video: Three-fourths of the half-billion plastic water bottles sold in the U.S. every week go to the landfill or to incinerators. A great new video called "The Story of Bottled Water" shows how we can put a stop to it. Watch it here!

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Dallas Morning News, March 8, 2010 By Tasha Hayton

Dallas-Fort Worth post offices slowly offering recycling bins

Recycling can save companies money, especially large entities like the postal service that deal with tons of paper, said Jeffrey Jacoby, program director with the Texas Campaign for the Environment.

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KVUE News Austin, February 7, 2010 By Steve Alberts

Changes to city's recycling contract could save money

Video: The Austin City Council will consider extending its recycling contract with Greenstar this week. But not everyone thinks it's a good idea. Recycling advocates say extending the current contract is a bad risk for city tax payers.

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KVUE News Austin, December 16, 2009 By Steve Alberts

Austin losing millions of dollars to haul away recyclables

Video: Since the city doesn't have a recycling facility in town to handle unsorted recyclables, it contracted with an out-of-town company called Greenstar. The city expected to make money, but instead, it has lost more than $2 million.

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Southern Shift, December 8, 2009 By

Copenhagen in Texas: An Interview w/ Environmentalist Robin Schneider

Video: While we focus on the Copenhagen climate talks, we at The Southern Shift wanted to bring attention to environmental and global issues closer to home. This week we will kick things off with a two-part interview with Robin Schneider, who heads up Texas Campaign for the Environment.

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Austin American-Statesman, November 29, 2009 By Sarah Coppola

Austin considers extending problematic recycling contract

The City of Austin is looking to improve the terms of a much-maligned recycling contract that it expected to profit from, but that instead has cost $2 million over the past year.

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Dallas Advocate, October 2, 2009 By Marlena Chavira-Medford, Christina Hughes Babb & Keri Mitchell

Trash to Treasure

By and large, Dallas receives a passing mark in terms of its strides toward protecting the environment, says Jeff Jacoby, Dallas staff director for the Texas Campaign for the Environment, a grassroots advocacy group.

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Larry Kolvoord, Austin America-Statesman

Austin America-Statesman, April 7, 2009 By Sarah Coppola

Austin losing money on recycling contract

While city has lost about $900,000, San Antonio and Dallas have profited. A local environmental group that has analyzed public records blames the loss on a contract with the recycling company Greenstar that the City Council approved in May.

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Calgary Herald, January 25, 2009 By Reese Halter

More plastic than plankton in Pacific Ocean

A mass of plastic in the Pacific, increasing tenfold each decade since 1945, is now the size of Texas and killing everything in its wake. Globally, 100 million tonnes of plastic are generated each year and at least 10 per cent of that is finding its way into the sea.

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KXAN News Austin, January 23, 2009 By Matt Flener

Neighbors fighting landfill expansion

Video: Hearings continued Friday on a battle to expand a Northeast Travis County Landfill. Neighbors and landfill operators argued in front of an administrative law judge Friday. Click here to watch!

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News 8 Austin, January 21, 2009 By News 8 Staff

Proposed landfill expansion sparks controversy

BFI Waste Systems went before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Tuesday to find out once and for all whether it can expand its landfill in northeast Travis County.

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CBS 42 News Austin, January 20, 2009 By Alexis Patterson

Travis County residents fight landfill expansion

Imagine having 250 acres of garbage as your next door neighbor - and now the landfill company wants to expand. That's got some folks in Northeast Travis County upset - but the proposed expansion is now being considered by a judge.

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San Antonio Express-News, December 27, 2008 By Colin McDonald

San Antonio moves slow on recycling

Hanging off the back of a garbage truck, Hector Villanueva and Juan Aguirre scramble down block after block to collect San Antonio’s trash. Villanueva didn’t think about recycling until he started hoisting trash cans filled with cardboard, plastic bottles and newspapers that could have been recycled.

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In Fact Daily, December 10, 2008 By Mark Richardson

City Attorney excludes community’s choice for outside counsel on BFI

A resolution on today’s Council agenda to direct City Manager Marc Ott to hire an outside legal firm to assist in “un-doing” an agreement between the city and landfill operator BFI could spark some spirited discussion.

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Austin American Statesman, July 10, 2008 By Melissa Mixon

Hutto group now backs landfill sale; Williamson commissioners say they're interested but are also looking to negotiate new contract with operator.

Orlynn Evans remembers the unease among some residents a year and a half ago when Williamson County commissioners discussed selling the county's controversial landfill.

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KUT Radio, June 30, 2008 By Erika Aguilar

More Trash in Hutto

Hutto residents aren’t against expansion—they want to make sure the landfill doesn’t get too big and trash from outside the county goes elsewhere.

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Photo: Alan Zale for The New York Times

New York Times, June 25, 2008 By Stephanie Rosenbloom

Home Depot Offers Recycling for Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

The nation's second-largest retailer is creating widespread recycling program for the bulbs, accepting them at all U.S. locations.

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KVUE News, June 23, 2008 By Jessica Vess

Hutto residents take a stand against landfill expansion

Hutto residents and city council members are taking a stand against a proposed landfill expansion. Operators at the Williamson County landfill are looking at a plan that would allow trash from outside the county to be dumped there anyway.

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Austin Chronicle, June 6, 2008 By Lee Nichols

The Webberville Conundrum

Austin's plans for an eastern landfill hit a little obstacle – the people who live there. 

"I think that the region should focus on zero-waste policy and programs before doing another landfill," says Robin Schneider, Executive Director of Texas Campaign for the Environment. 

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Weatherford Democrat, June 5, 2008 By Carman Williams

Changes may be in store for landfills

Landfills never stir up sanitary images, but if proposed new standards are approved by the state, municipal dumps may be getting too dirty for some groups to handle.

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Austin American-Statesman, June 2, 2008 By Melissa Mixon

Judge says controversial landfill contract is valid

A 2003 contract between Williamson County and its landfill operator, Waste Management of Texas, is valid, according to a district judge’s ruling released late Friday.

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Houston Chronicle, August 10, 2003 By Dina Cappiello

Poor funding, cheap landfills hurt efforts

Ask Marta Medina what she does for a living, and she replies in Spanish "reciclar," or recycle. The 50-year-old Guatemalan immigrant has made a success of recycling, something that Houston, the fourth largest city in the nation, has struggled to do.

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