Houston Could Do Better on Recycling

This week the New York Times printed an article about Houston's dismal recycling record. It shows Houston has a 2.6 percent recycling rate, compared to 34percent in New York and 62 percent in Los Angeles.

Houston Mayor Bill White questions those numbers.

"I get a little suspicious about some of the figures that I see on recycling within some communities, because not everybody audits what politicians say."

The article characterized Houston as a maverick city, resistant tochange.But White says that's not the complete story.He says the city has to do better and admits they are behind inreducing dependence on landfills.But residents have to buy in as well.

"You know recycling does take some partnership between the citizens and the solid waste department. And so we are probably less coercive than other cities, we do respect and honor human freedom. You know, we're less intrusive than some other cities are, that's a fact."

White says they're streamlining the recycling process to free up additional personnel.That will allow them to add capacity for neighborhoods on the waiting list.

And an additional million dollars was recently allocated for morerecycle bins, biodegradeable bags and educational outreach.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
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