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Posts Tagged ‘solid waste’

One Bin For All RFPs

Yesterday was a big day for the One Bin for All proposal. Thursday [was] the deadline for private companies to submit bids to the city to build and run the facility. The bid guidelines call for a 75 percent diversion rate — that is, only 25 percent of solid waste should end up in landfills. […]

Another expansion of single stream recycling

From the inbox: Mayor Annise Parker and Harry J. Hayes, Director of the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD), are pleased to announce the addition of 62,000 to the City’s popular automated curbside recycling program. As part of the expansion, residents in neighborhoods throughout Houston will receive a new 96-gallon green automated cart similar to the […]

Melanie Scruggs: Ways Houston can increase its recycling rate

Note: From time to time, I solicit guest posts from various individuals on different topics. While I like to think I know a little something about a lot of things, I’m fortunate to be acquainted with a number of people who know a whole lot about certain topics, and who are willing to share some […]

City issues One Bin RFPs

From the inbox: Mayor Annise Parker today announced the issuance of a Request for Proposals and creation of an advisory committee for the One Bin for All waste management and diversion project. The City of Houston invites submittals from short-listed firms that participated in an earlier Request for Qualifications process. “One Bin for All will […]

Recycling cartons

More curbside recycling options. Houstonians accustomed to throwing out glossy cardboard cartons of milk, juice, soup and others foods and beverages now can send them to the curb in a green container for recycling. The Carton Council, a consortium of carton manufacturers, has helped the city’s existing paper recycling processors purchase equipment that will keep […]

The Trib writes about One Bin For All

Mostly familiar information if you’ve been following this story, but a good overview if it’s new to you. Laura Spanjian, Houston’s director of sustainability, says the city is spending millions to expand its conventional recycling service and is still evaluating all the options for its one-bin concept. The city hopes that the one-bin idea would […]

The next wave of curbside recycling

From last week, some good news for those of who that still don’t have the 96-gallon wheeled recycling bins. Houston will roll out its biweekly, automated curbside recycling service to 70,000 additional residences throughout the city just in time for Thanksgiving, the Department of Solid Waste Management announced [last] Friday. The expansion will bring service […]

If you want your trash to be collected

It’s best to put your trash can where the automated pickup arm can get it. Last year, at least 9,000 trash cans in the city were left uncollected at some point, according to records kept by the city, a small percentage of the total number of bins emptied in a year, but enough to slow […]

City seeks One Bin For All RFQs

Calling all vendors. The city of Houston took a step forward on its “One Bin for All” project this week. The project would allow residents to discard trash and recyclables in one bin to be sorted at a new $100 million facility, which would be built and run by a private firm. On June 12, […]

Collecting compost from restaurants

The city of Austin takes another step on its path towards zero waste. Austin restaurants and other food businesses will have to compost food scraps starting in 2016, under new rules the City Council OK’d Thursday. Food service businesses — including fast-food chains, caterers, cafeterias and bars — that are bigger than 5,000 square feet […]

City response on “One Bin For All”

Last week, I asked several environmental groups for feedback on the city’s One Bin For All proposal. I said I would follow up on that with the city. I have their response here, but before I get to it I want to report that I got some further feedback from David Weinberg of the Texas […]

What other environmental groups think about “One Bin For All”

As you know, last week the city announced that it had won the $1 million runnerup prize from the Bloomberg Foundation that would enable it to begin work on a single-bin solution for solid waste and recycling. While this announcement was generally met with cheers, the Texas Campaign for the Environment was not among those […]

Not everyone likes the One Bin solution

From the inbox: Texas Campaign for the Environment vowed today to mobilize Houstonians against Mayor Annise Parker’s so-called “One Bin for All” proposal, saying that the scheme will take recycling away from the minority of residents who already have it, delay expanding it to new neighborhoods and lay the groundwork for future environmental damage. “This […]

Houston wins $1 million runnerup Bloomberg prize

From the Mayor’s office: Mayor Annise Parker today announced that Houston’s One Bin for All idea is one of the five winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other […]

Vote for Houston in the Mayor’s Challenge final

From the HuffPo: Vote below for your favorite idea among the 20 Mayors Challenge finalists! Voting is open from February 20 through March 6. The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge is a competition designed to inspire America’s mayors to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life. The Huffington Post and Bloomberg Philanthropies […]

Curbside composting

Way to go, Austin. City officials are asking Austinites in 7,900 households in five parts of the city to separate their banana peels, egg shells, meat, chicken bones, milk cartons, leaves and any other organic material from their household trash and put the material into a new rolling garbage cart. The one-year trial run will […]

We need infrastructure, yes we do

But paying for it is often a problem. That doesn’t work very well for a chant, I’m afraid. The American Society of Civil Engineers Houston branch assessed the structural and economic viability of roads, transit, solid waste, wastewater and drinking water facilities. Drinking water systems received a D, and roads and highways got a D+. […]

“One Bin For All” in the running for prize money

This happened before the election, which now seems as a remote a time as the 19th century. Houston is one of 20 finalist cities from among the 305 nationwide that applied for a $5 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies for the boldest local initiative to address a national problem. The city’s proposal, “Total Reuse […]

Tyson Sowell: Making Plans for a Brighter Future

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. In my previous article, I talked about the phasing out of single-use check-out bags being just one step the City needs to take in addressing its growing waste problem. In the past, Houston has looked at […]

Tyson Sowell: The Problem of Single-Use Bags

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. On Wednesday, June 20, Houston City Council approved a budget amendment to “address littering by plastic bags or phasing out plastic bags city-wide. This proposal will be taken to the appropriate committee for proper vetting, consideration […]

Going green to save some green

The city of Houston has made significant investments in energy savings. The U.S. Conference of Mayors named Mayor Annise Parker the winner of Mayors’ Climate Protection Award last year for green building initiatives that incentivize conservation and energy-efficient design features. “We don’t do it just because we get attention. We do it because it’s been […]

Compost recycling in San Antonio

And now that I’ve mentioned compost recycling, here’s a look at how it’s working in San Antonio. At New Earth’s composting site off Interstate 10 on the far East Side, it is easy to pick out the pile generated by the city’s pilot composting program. No other heap has bright bits of plastic strewn like […]

Growing the recycling economy

November 15 was National Recycling Day – you may recall it as the day that Houston announced a program to bring recycling to apartments – and on that day the BlueGreen Alliance put out a report on growing the recycling economy in the US. Looking at the report, I’d say Houston has taken a number […]

Trash into treasure

Waste Management Inc. is looking at ways to turn trash into energy, which is the next best thing to actual treasure. “In my mind, it’s pretty simple why we’re doing it: If we don’t figure it out, somebody is, and they’ll take the waste away from us. If we lose the waste, we’ve certainly lost […]

Composting

The city of Austin is looking for more ways to reduce the amount of solid waste that it puts in landfills. Aiming to cut down the waste that Austinites send to landfills, the City of Austin is sponsoring free composting classes through the summer. With roughly half the garbage sent to landfills made up of […]

On garbage fees and single stream recycling

You might have seen this blurb a few days ago about Solid Waste director Harry Hayes making a pitch to Mayor Parker to expand single stream recycling to every home in Houston: To reach 100 percent, Hayes told City Council today, would require a $3.50 monthly garbage fee. Houston is among the only major U.S. […]

More single stream recycling

I love seeing this program get expanded. The city is expanding by 30,000 the number of households that can participate in its single-stream recycling program, which soon is expected to reach more than one out of every four Houston homes. The automated program allows citizens to place glass, paper, plastic containers, aluminum and cardboard into […]

Compostable bag update

The city has decided to not begin fining people just yet for not using the new biodegradable bags for yard waste. I agree that most people just need clear instructions and reasonably durable bags to do this, and I’m glad to see that behavior has already changed quite dramatically: Before the program was implemented earlier […]

Recycling pilot project update

As you know, Monday was the day that the new compostable bag ordinance went into effect. It was also the day that the city’s automated recycling program was to be extended to many more houses. From a story in the Houston Business Journal last month: The City of Houston is making its biggest expansion to […]

How about a plastic bag tax?

A number of cities have adopted or considered adding a small tax to plastic bags as a means to raise a little money and cut down on landfill waste. Kevin Drum notes the experience of the Washington, DC nickel-per-bag tax, for which revenues, which are dedicated to the cleanup of the Anacostia River, have been […]

Biodegradable bag requirement postponed

Implementation of the new city ordinance requiring biodegradable bags for yard waste has been pushed back until April. The new start date is April 5, which is after the last major fall of leaves for the season, said Harry Hayes, the city’s solid waste director. By then, there should be more than enough of the […]

Yard waste

I hadn’t realized that an ordinance requiring bbiodegradable bags for yard waste had been passed, but I like it. Under the ordinance, the city will not collect yard waste in plastic bags, and will fine residents up to $2,000 for putting leaves and clippings in garbage bins. Plastic bags, made from petroleum, are sturdy and […]

Don’t mess with Bill

As everyone expected, Mayor White has stayed the heck out of the race to replace him. So it’s a pretty big deal when he feels compelled to speak up about something that is happening in the race. Mayor Bill White [...] injected himself into the race for the first time to fact-check a mailer City […]

Recycle thyself

I suppose I had assumed that the city of Houston was already collecting recyclables separately from trash. Apparently, that was not the case, but it will be now. The Solid Waste Management Department has implemented programs at breakneck speed to allow residents to recycle tree waste and empty various recyclables — including paper, plastic, even […]