In 2013, Dallas became just the second city in Texas to adopt a long-term recycling plan aimed at achieving “Zero Waste,” in which City officials are working to put policies and programs in place to reduce, recover and recycle over 85% of discards currently sent to landfills by 2040. Accomplishing this ambitious goal would conserve natural resources, create jobs and reduce energy consumption.
However, our current curbside recycling programs are only the first step toward a truly sustainable solution for municipal solid waste. Most waste in DFW still makes its way to landfills and illegal dumpsites. In order to truly solve this problem, we must provide universal access to recycling everywhere people live, work and play.
For example, multi-family buildings are home to most Dallas residents, and with no city-wide programs in place, it is currently up to each apartment building owner or condominium association to decide whether to provide recycling access for residents and tenants. A 2014 survey conducted for the City of Dallas revealed that most are choosing not to recycle:
The Dallas Zero Waste Plan includes a goal to increase the commercial and multi-family recycling rates to 40% by 2020. Achieving such a rapid improvement will not be possible without a concerted civic engagement and public education effort. Our Zero Waste DFW Project is designed to help make this goal a reality.
Other Texas cities such as San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin and Fort Worth have adopted commercial recycling policies; we can learn from these examples. Multi-family buildings and businesses account for 83% of the waste that Dallas currently sends to landfills. Simply put, any efforts to reduce our overall waste and boost recycling must address these sources. We are committed to providing research, policy analysis and public education for a Universal Recycling Ordinance in Dallas and other DFW cities, and we need your help to do it. Take action today!
Multi-family buildings and businesses account for 83% of the waste that Dallas currently sends to landfills. Any efforts to reduce our overall waste and boost recycling must address these sources. Other Texas cities such as San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin and Fort Worth have adopted commercial recycling ordinances; we can learn from these examples and do the same in Dallas and other DFW cities.
You can take action through our 501(c)(4) sister organization Texas Campaign for the Environment. Send your message to Mayor Rawlings and the City Council today: Dallas needs a Universal Recycling Ordinance!