As the fourth largest city in the country and a global leader in energy and business, Houston has enormous potential to set a positive example for other cities in sustainability. Recycling has been one issue at the heart of Houston’s environmental programs and our focus at TCE Fund, since recycling is not just good for the environment – it is powerful for the economy as well.
In 2014, Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund and our allies in the Zero Waste Houston coalition rallied to expand curbside recycling to all neighborhoods serviced by the Solid Waste Management Department, and we won! Houston recently expanded single-stream recycling to every neighborhood, so that residents can put all of their recyclable items into the big, green bin separate from trash.
Now we are excited to take the next step, and address the recycling AND food scraps generated in apartments and businesses. Other cities in Texas and around the world are implementing two or even three bins for recycling and composting at home, work and play. Cities like San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin and Dallas have also passed long-term solid waste policies to reduce trash going to landfills and incinerators by 60%-90%, creating thousands of jobs for Texans in the process.
You may have heard about an unfortunate proposal currently being evaluated at City Hall that would undo our progress in recycling. The disastrous “One Bin for All” proposal would combine all trash and recycling into the same container that would then go to a $100+ million facility where endangered workers would sort through the trash that we can and should recycle ourselves. Even worse, the proposal calls for incineration technologies that would further pollute our air and destroy materials that should be recycled. Recycling advocates, including the Paper Recycling Coalition, National Recycling Coalition and the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries have come out against this controversial proposal.
As Houston officials craft a comprehensive “General Plan” set to be voted on this summer, we are advocating that it include a zero waste plan for Houston to expand recycling and composting all over Houston. You can help today by contacting your elected officials and candidates for office. Send your message today!
Would you like someone to speak to your neighborhood or civic group about Zero Waste? Scroll down to “Contact Us” to email your local Program Director!
Mixed Waste Processing or Dirty MRFs
From our blog: Candidates for Houston’s At-Large City Council positions represent the entire city and should be strong supporters of the environment. A recent forum let the public hear where they stand.
From our blog: We have transcribed interviews with at-large candidates for Houston City Council about recycling in Houston. Learn where they stand, then use our website to email them your thoughts!