Following up on the recent good news that the city will now accept more types of plastic for curbside and dropoff recycling, City Controller Annise Parker announces on her website that more expansions are coming:
Recycler AbitibiBowater has committed $3 million to upgrade its Houston facility to process single-stream recyclables and has announced plans for further investments to "strengthen the recycling partnership with the city...to allow the city ... to proceed aggressively with a strategic plan for a sustainable recycling program."
"With a single-stream processing facility in town, we will be able to provide more Houstonians with curbside recycling," Solid Waste Management Department Director Harry Hayes said.
A. Formal adoption of "waste diversion rate" as the primary metric for measuring success of the Program, with regular tabulation and public release thereof. Waste diversion rate shall be defined as the sum of recycled volume, composted volume, and source volume reduced divided by total waste volume.
B. Integration of the Program with the City's "regular" waste disposal program so that the overall waste management system is considered and budgeted in a comprehensive manner.
C. To encourage greater public participation in the Program, implementation of variable user fees for "regular" waste collection, the central features being implementation of variable size collection bins, with (1) price increasing proportional to bin size, and (2) a no-fee baseline small bin.
D. Expanded acceptance of materials currently refused by the Program, such as glass and building materials.
E. Expanded coverage of the Program to include currently neglected communities, including apartment/condo dwellers and commercial businesses.
F. Implementation of regulatory mandates where applicable, including (a)a requirement that locally permitted commercial businesses additionally submit for approval and subsequently follow comprehensive waste disposal and recycling plans, and (b) regulation of other waste disposal businesses such that they too must be in compliance with City Program-related regulations.
G. Implementation of industry best practices, including such Program initiatives as food waste recycling/composting from local restaurants and food stores, and recycling/re-use of demolished building materials by construction developers.
I. Creation of plans to gradually and appropriately bring about mandatory public participation in the Program.
J. Creation of formal and ongoing contacts, visitations, and study of comparable city programs for the express purpose of implementing ongoing improvements to the Program.