Texas Campaign for the Environment: Victories 2006
First, it was Georgetown in Williamson County. Next, it was Plano in North Texas. Then came Kyle in Hays County. The City of Dallas embraced it and then the Denton County City of Highland Village.
When thousands of TCE supporters voiced their backing for producer takeback recycling of electronic waste, local government officials listened.
news: Georgetown takes on tech trash - City is first to vote on resolution urging new electronics recycling rules (Austin American Statesman)
news: Plano in 'e-waste' crackdown - Dallas also eyes pushing producers to resolve electronic trash problem (Dallas Business Journal)
news: Highland Village council endorses recycling program (The News Connection)
In 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a bill, signed by Governor Rick Perry, that took away the public's right to a public meeting when new trash and hazardous waste facilities are planned. TCE worked to restore the ability of Texans to have public meetings by suggesting language that sets out clear criteria for holding a meeting. These criteria include a request by a local government, by 10 area residents or an organization that represents 10 area residents.
Dell increased their commitment to producer takeback recycling with a new position that clearly supports public policy on the issue. Dell also set a new bar by pledging to provide free recycling services to all individual consumers worldwide for all Dell products. The program begins in September in the US and in November worldwide.<BR>
news: Dell computers unveils a global electronic waste recycling program (Austin Chronicle)
Texas Campaign for the Environment worked with Laredo area residents to secure Webb County support for an effort to fight an unnecessary private landfill from being permitted.
news: Fighting for a site; Environmentalists want city to reject proposed landfill (Laredo Morning Times)
After pressure from TCE, Apple made a pre-Earth Day announcement that it would begin offering free recycling of a computer system of any brand for customers that buy a new Mac.
news: Apple follows Dell, H-P in recycling old e-waste (Austin American-Statesman)
TCE and neighbors of the one of the two problem landfills in Northeast Travis County successfully pressured the Travis County Commissioners Court to oppose expansions at the Waste Management landfills. While the decision ultimately is made by the state, the county's opposition will aid the case to reject the expansion request.
The state environmental agency (the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) adopted new standards for landfills and other trash facilities, including some suggestions from TCE. The most important advances that will protect the public health and safety and the environment and improve public participation that were secured are:
-- Internet posting of permit applications for new and expanding facilities
-- Sign posting around the perimeter notifying public of proposed new and expanding facilities
-- Increasing the buffer from 50 feet to 125 feet for most landfills that take household garbage
-- Better groundwater testing standards
-- More accurate floodplain information will be allowed for consideration in the permitting process
Although there were many other improvements that could have been made to the rules, many of these are still on the table for future consideration.
news: State adopts new landfill standards (Austin American Statesman)
The City Council had plans to put a through road that would have carved up Ft. Worth's oldest and most beloved park. TCE generated more than a thousand letters to the City Council in opposition to the plan, which was ultimately defeated.
news: Planned Road at Park is Killed (Fort Worth Star Telegram)
TCE organizers fanned out across Texas to inform residents of coal plants planned for their communities that lack the most modern pollution controls. Residents were mobilized to attend hastily-scheduled public meetings and ask the state environmental agency and the power companies tough questions.
Hundreds of letters have been sent to state officials calling for a full review - not fast-tracking - for these plants which will also endanger efforts to clean the air in metropolitan areas such as Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and Waco. TCE has organized in Robertson County, Mt. Pleasant, and Henderson among others.
news: Robertson County Residents Speak Out Against Coal Plants (KBTX-TV Channel 3 Bryan)