Texas Campaign for the Environment: Victories 2004
HEB and 7-Eleven agree to stop carrying disposable DVDs and the test market fails.
In January, TCE is invited to give a presentation at a Dell e-waste workshop. In February, TCE activists travel to Portland, OR to release a report on the national costs of e-waste and to pressure a national stakeholder group working on e-waste issues. TCE participates in national web and tele-conference with Michael Dell on e-waste. TCE works with Dell and HP to issue a joint Statement of Principles on Electronic Waste. At Dell Annual Meeting of shareholders, TCE gives Micheal Dell a "Way to Recycle, Michael" commendation. Dell and HP start competing on electronics recycling offers for consumers.
TCE organizes rally outside the Travis County Commissioners Court to oppose agreements with BFI and Waste Management that would pave the way for expansions at the problem landfills. The agreements are stalled for the rest of the year.
TCE and landfill neighbors stop the weakening of standards for the landfills day-to-day operations, in part by convincing more than a dozen Republican and Democratic state legislators and other officials to write letters opposing the proposal.
The new Dallas/Fort Worth office opens in April with a campaign against a landfill expansion of IESI's Weatherford landfill. IESI planned to expand the landfill with little public notice and through a process that limited public input. TCE organizes local residents to oppose this expansion and generates thousands of letters to the state environmental agency and IESI CEO Mickey Flood.
When the state environmental agency announces that it will update the large body of landfill standards, TCE and landfill neighbor groups call for public meetings to get public input on improvement needed. Seven meetings are held across the state and many landfill neighbors and other concerned citizens voice support for a range of changes and for better enforcement of standards. TCE generates thousands of letters calling for specific reforms to protect the water, air and soil.
In the summer and fall, TCE helps organizing residents in the Hutto area of Williamson County to call for a public meeting for a proposed expansion of the Williamson County landfill operated by Waste Management. State Rep. Mike Krusee responded to hundreds of letters sent to him by constituents and joins calls for a public meeting. TCE helps spur the formation of a local group, Mount Hutto Aware Citizens to take a leading role. When the public meeting was held in October, approximately 100 people come, many with some hard questions for the state and local officials and Waste Management. The story is called one of the top ten stories of 2004 by the Williamson County Sun newspaper.
TCE raises questions about a proposal by City of Austin staff to sign a 65-year lease with IESI to run its old Austin airport-area landfill. TCE first wins a delay in the consideration of the agenda item. TCE co-produces a video documenting problems at both the city and neighboring IESI landfill.