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The next wave of curbside recycling

From last week, some good news for those of who that still don’t have the 96-gallon wheeled recycling bins.

Houston will roll out its biweekly, automated curbside recycling service to 70,000 additional residences throughout the city just in time for Thanksgiving, the Department of Solid Waste Management announced [last] Friday.

The expansion will bring service to a total 210,000 households – more than half of the residences in the department’s service area, spokeswoman Sandra Jackson said. The automated curbside service will be extended to 60,000 more residences in the spring.

“Residents have let us know loud and clear through their participation and support that this is a program they want,” Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement. “This is a significant step in a larger plan to expand recycling citywide.”

The program began in 2009 with 10,000 households.

Letters concerning the program will be mailed to new participating residences. Wheeled 96-gallon containers will be delivered beginning the week of Oct. 28. Collection will begin the week of Nov. 25.

The press release from the city Solid Waste Department, along with a list of included neighborhoods, is here. Council approved this expansion earlier in the month. This expansion and another one for an additional 60,000 houses in the spring were built into the Mayor’s budget, thus bringing us closer to the goal of having all houses receive recycling service without imposing a garbage fee. That approach is certainly open to debate – I’d have been willing to pay a monthly fee, or to support a pay-as-you-throw fee designed to minimize landfill-bound waste – but it’s what we’ve got. Still in the works is the One Bin For All plan, for which RFQs were issued in June. The deadline for those submissions was August 22, and it occurs to me that I haven’t seen or heard anything on it since then. I’ll need to follow up on that. In any event, the march towards more curbside recycling continues. Check and see if your neighborhood is on the list if it wasn’t already receiving the service.

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  1. Ross says:

    Still no love for Timbergrove, while neighborhoods filled with folks who don’t know the meaning of the word recycle continue to get the wheeled bins. I may have to send a note to the City saying I’m boycotting recycling until we get a roller bin.

    On the cost side, trying to bill on a pay as you throw scheme would be a giant administrative nightmare. Our current plan of garbage being included in the property tax bill might not be transparent, but it does ensure that the bills get paid, without having to hire staff to chase down $15 charges from households that don’t have the cash this month. Realistically, the only way to get someone to pay the trash bill is to make it part of the water bill and threaten to cut off the water. Cutting off trash pickup would just mean more illegal dumping.

  2. Bill Shirley says:

    They weigh all the recycling. They should do the same for the trash. Send periodical reports to those whose trash:recycling ratio is the highest.

    Studies show that reports like “4 of the 30 houses on your block are in the bottom 5% of recycling compliance” do even better to make people comply – being wary of looking bad in front of others.