A new kind of collaboration in the U.S. that accepts all-plastic for recycling


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the HRC? Who is a part of it?
The Houston Recycling Collaboration was formed in January 2022 between the City of Houston and members of industry, including, ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, Cyclyx International and FCC Environmental Services. This collaboration aims to significantly increase Houston’s plastics recycling rate by accelerating both mechanical and advanced recycling technologies.

The effort brings together two of the world’s largest chemical companies, each with plans to expand recycling capacity; a leading environmental services company with deep experience in Houston; an innovative circular systems developer; and the fourth largest city in the U.S.

Implementing takeback programs like this one in Kingwood with communities, schools, businesses and retail establishments will be a key focus for the HRC, collecting plastic waste that is considered difficult to recycle today and increasing the amount of plastics that go into a recycling pathway instead of landfill.

You can learn more at HoustonTX.gov/HRC.

Q: What is 10to90?
10 to 90 is a brand of Cyclyx, which is a member of the Houston Recycling Collaboration. 10 to 90 is a mission to increase the recycling rate of post-use plastics from 10% to 90% worldwide.

Q: When does the new program begin? How long is the program running?
This program launches on Saturday, December 10 and was created to be an ongoing program to help divert more plastic waste from landfill.

Q: Am I limited on the number of bags I can bring?

Q: What about bulk plastic items? Can I bring those?
We will accept all plastic items that can fit into a bag. For larger items, such as baby pools and plastic chairs, HRC is currently working on development of a bulk plastic collection, similar to the monthly electronic recycling program at Kingwood. Announcements will be made when this bulk collection is available, so please sign up for the HTX app or Keep Kingwood Green for future announcements.

Q: Why does it have to go in a bag? Can I still put any loose plastic items in the containers?
All plastic materials will need to be bagged in plastic trash bags or plastic shopping bags and tied shut to prevent items escaping during transit. We will be recycling the bags as well but all plastic will need to be placed in a bag and tied shut.

Q: I’ve heard conflicting information that I am not supposed to bag my recyclables. Why can we bag them for this program and not elsewhere?
Putting materials in a bag is for this specific program only. A main reason is so that the lighter plastic films remain in the bin and do not fly out on a windy day. It also allows additional learnings regarding the mix of materials from households so we can apply learnings to future programs.

Q: What plastics can go in the bag?
Plastics accepted will include all numbered plastics from 1-7, as well as unnumbered plastics such as bubble wrap, plastic mailers, polystyrene foam (also known as Styrofoam), packing peanuts and plastic wrap. Other examples include shampoo and detergent bottles, baby bottles, plastic egg cartons, plastic packaging for snacks, takeout containers and bags, dry cleaner bags, cosmetic tubes, bread bags, candy wrappers, chip bags, plastic utensils, plastic fruit cartons, condiment bottles, shower curtains, medicine bottles, shredded cheese bags, Ziploc bags, plastic Tupperware that has reached its end of life, CDs and more.

Q: What cannot go in the bag?
No hazardous waste, bulky items, rubber materials, medical waste, electronic waste, extension cords, wiring/string light. See brochure or scan QR code for more information.

Q: Will the existing plastic bins remain on site at the Kingwood Recycling Center? For plastics currently accepted, should I put them in the new bin or keep sorting?
All three bins that are for plastics on site are now a part of the new program, putting all plastics in a bag and tying shut.

hile at your curbside, you can continue to sort plastics, at the Kingwood Recycling Center, there will be no sorting – all plastics will be put in a bag.

Q: Is Styrofoam acceptable?
Yes, as long as it is placed in a plastic bag and tied shut. Bulky items that cannot fit in a bag will not be accepted at this time but, in the future, a bulky item plastic program will be developed to handle larger plastic items like: Coolers, baby pools, plastic chairs etc.

Q: How clean do the plastics need to be? Do I need to rinse out my peanut butter jar before bagging it?
Items should be emptied and rinsed clean with no food or other liquid residues.

Q: Do I need to take off the plastic label from my mayonnaise bottle? Do I have to remove the lids?
You do not need to remove labels or plastic lids - just empty, clean and place in a bag.

Q: How is it possible for some of these plastics to now be recycled?
In recent years, there have been a number of enhancements in sorting capabilities, such as robots and optical sorters, and in recycling technologies, such as advanced recycling.

Traditional mechanical recycling is most efficient for clean, well-sorted plastics like water bottles and milk jugs made from one type of plastic material, while a technology called advanced recycling can process a wider range of difficult-to-recycle plastics, returning those plastics to their molecular building blocks for making new, virgin quality products.

Q: Where does the plastic go after it is collected? Is it being recycled?
Plastic collected at these 10 to 90 programs will be sent to the new Cyclyx Circularity Center, which, upon expected startup in 2025, will be able to chemically characterize these new sources of mixed waste plastics and prepare them for use in various recycling technologies.

The Houston Recycling Collaboration is focused on initiatives that provide increased access to plastic recycling collection and sorting capabilities, and we expect to make additional project announcements in the coming months, focusing on other areas of the city.