Houston Doesn’t Recycle?

While Dallas rolls out trash to natural gas plants and works on multifamily recycling programs, here comes a piece from the New York Times that Houston is at the bottom among major cities when it comes to recycling.

While it’s true that Dallas is way below the national average of 32% at only at 11% , it would seem that a sprawling city the size of Houston would embrace recycling. Unfortunately, H-Town recycles only 2.6% of it’s trash. This rate is the lowest among the 30 largest cities in the U.S. While you must be a subscriber to get detailed info, here is a list of cities surveyed by Waste News Magazine (the basis of the NYT article).

The article also cites some interesting numbers:

25,000 Houston residents have been waiting as long as 10 years to get recycling bins from the city.

The city picks up garbage at some 340,000 households, and fewer than half have recycling bins. ..the city says it cannot afford more bins.

Those without the special bins must cart their recyclable garbage to one of just nine full-service drop-off depots in the city.

But when Monica Pope, a locally renowned chef, approached a city-run recycling depot in her silver pick-up truck full of containers, she was turned away. “They said my truck was too full,” Ms. Pope recalled, laughing. “There are cultures that just don’t get it, and, unfortunately, Houston is one of them.” Now, Ms. Pope recycles at what she says is a safer, cleaner and more convenient drop-off center operated by an autonomous city within Houston, saving $6,000 a year in trash fees.

Check out the graphic from the NYT, which is a snapshot of recycling rates from around the U.S. It seems like we have a ways to go in Dallas, but we’re certainly on the right path.


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