Texas Campaign for the Environment: Victories 2010
HP has formally strengthened its policy against exporting toxic electronic waste to developing nations, and signaled support for federal legislation to end this shameful practice once and for all. This is absolutely critical to getting a bill passed because HP has a much stronger lobbying presence on Capitol Hill and in the industry trade associations than other electronics companies. HP specifically requested that TCE participate in this process because of the thousands of letter our supporters generated!
news: HP refines e-waste export policy (E-Scrap News)
After thousands of Texans wrote to all five of the major gubernatorial candidates, Bill White took a public stance in support of producer takeback recycling legislation for televisions that was passed overwhelmingly in 2009 but vetoed by Governor Rick Perry. TCE supporters are writing to many candidates for the State Legislature about TV recycling and other environmental issues. (TCE does not endorse candidates for public office but seeks to get them on record on our issues.)
For almost 2 years, the City of Austin has been contracting with Greenstar in San Antonio to handle our single-stream recycling. Unfortunately, this poorly written and hasty contract has cost taxpayers millions of dollars. After pressure from TCE and other allies, the Council voted to not extend its contract with Greenstar past 2010. Instead, Council issued a proposal request from other companies that could potentially handle Austin's recycling -- but two of the top companies selected by city staff were BFI/Allied Waste and Waste Management, which have very problematic landfills in NE Travis County. Because of their poor operating history and thousands of neighbor complaints of noxious odors and windblown debris, among others, TCE called on the City Council to throw out the entire process and start anew. The Council heeded the advice of concerned residents and directed staff to negotiate with various vendors on short-term and long-term contracts.
news: City Council scraps recycling bids (Austin American-Statesman)
After pressure from TCE and other recycling advocates, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally agreed to start promoting strong standards for responsible electronics recycling, known as E-Stewards. This is vital in educating individuals and businesses that there are truly resposnible electronics recyclers, so they can ensure their e-waste won't end up exported and dumped in developing nations. The EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, has also called for federal legislation to stop this practice once and for all.
news: EPA chief calls for e-waste export ban (E-Scrap News)
TCE has worked for years with our partners in the Austin Zero Waste Alliance to put the City of Austin's recycling on track. After the City switched to a large bin single-stream recycling system in October 2008, the materials were no longer being sorted locally as the City failed to have a single-stream recycling plant built in time. The materials were being sent to the Dallas area and then San Antonio and was costing the City millions in losses. On August 5, 2010, the City approved a short-term contract that will sort recyclables locally and provide better financial protections for the City.
news: Austin looks to profit from recycling after two years of losses Council to vote on contract that could bring in nearly $1 million (Austin American-Statesman)