Single Stream Recycling Pilot Kickoff


"The job we do is larger than we are and we must ensure that we plant the right seeds, nurture and grow them beyond ourselves." -- Mayor Bill White, Annual Mayor's Minister's Breakfast, 12.02.2008

Mayor, that's a quote you made at last year's minister's breakfast which is exactly appropriate for this occasion. Reuse and Recycling are the seeds of the future and directly impact the quality of life for future generations of Houstonians.

Solid Waste Management is a key function of city government along with police, fire, parks and libraries. Citizens expect that their investment in solid waste management is effectively and efficiently managed. This pilot program accomplishes that. Diversion of more tons away from landfills preserves airspace and saves taxpayer dollars. Solid Waste disposal costs have risen on average at slightly more than $900,000 per year over the past several years. It would be poor leadership on the part of the Solid Waste team to not develop and implement "smart" programs to divert waste and control costs.

The 8 neighborhoods selected for this pilot are leading the way for what we expect to be a city wide program within the next 5 years. Data collection will begin immediately to determine neighborhood participation rates, average weights and recyclables composition. There will be ongoing strong partnering with neighborhood leaders to include education to increase participation rates.

The containers to be used for this program will hold 5.3 times more material than our current 18 gallon bins. This is a huge advantage for participating households in that they don't have to make extra trips to neighborhood schools, grocery stores or city facilities to recycle.

Finally, I certainly want to thank you, Mayor, along with city council members and Solid Waste Task Force Co-Chairs Controller Annise Parker and Lorne Bain, for your leadership in getting the department and city to this point where we are doing the job that is larger than we are, planting the right seeds, and nurturing and growing them beyond ourselves.

Thank you.

Harry J. Hayes, Director
Solid Waste Management Department

Director Harry Hayes at Podium
Mayor White at Podium
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