October 15, 2008 -- The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department has partnered with Living Earth Technology Co. (LETCO) to produce a quality mulch product called “Living Earth Houston Mulch” which will be prepared from trees and brush collected from the City of Houston. This mulch will be available in bulk directly from Living Earth, and will also be available in bags at Houston area retailers including Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers. LETCO has agreed to donate to the City of Houston ten cents for every bag sold and 50 cents for every bulk yard sold. The donated funds will be used to promote recycling programs in Houston.
Additionally, as a result of Hurricane Ike, LETCO has agreed to accept up to 200,000 cubic yards of chipped storm debris. “We are pleased to announce that this partnership will continue even after the storm debris has been cleared,” said Solid Waste Management Department Director Harry J. Hayes. “We are thrilled to avoid paying disposal costs for this recyclable material. We are certainly ‘closing the (recycling) loop’ by diverting this quality raw material from area landfills and providing beneficial reuse opportunities,” added Director Hayes. As opposed to paying nearly $27 per ton for landfill disposal, the City will pay $12.45 per ton.
“The City of Houston has been so dedicated to keeping the tree waste clean, which allows Living Earth to make a good quality mulch product. The City has the raw material and we (LETCO) have the design, marketing, manufacturing and distribution capabilities and expertise, to make this program a success. It is a match made in heaven,” said Mark Rose, President of LETCO. For more information about “Living Earth Houston Mulch” visit www.houstonmulch.com.
Allied Waste has obtained a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to compost tree waste and will accept up to 500,000 cubic yards of tree waste chips from the Hurricane Ike tree debris collected by Houston's primary disaster hauling contractor, DRC, for beneficial reuse.
The City of Houston is still looking for beneficial reuse of large volumes of wood chips resulting from the vegetative storm debris. See link on City’s Hurricane Ike web page (www.houstontx.gov).