Houston ISD receives $300,000 to develop a new recycling program from various business leaders

Lantrip Elementary, an environmental science magnet school at HISD, is one of 20 participating schools and facilities for the recycling program.


Patricia Ortiz / Houston Public Media
HISD launched a recycling program at 20 participating schools across the city.

HISD schools and facilities are partnering with various business leaders to develop a recycling program scheduled to begin in April.

20 participating HISD schools and facilities will collect cardboard, paper, and a variety of hard-to-recycle plastics, from chip bags to takeout containers. The schools will begin the program with funding from companies including Exxon Mobil, LyondellBasell and Cyclyx, a company that facilitates the re-use of plastics in other industries.

Senior Vice President Bill Cooper said their goal is to drive recycling rates from 10% to 90%.

"Our focus is to find ways to recycle hard-to-recycle plastics," he said. "Take that hard-to-recycle plastic, keep it out of the landfill, keep it out of the environment, find a way to recycle it."

Baytown's ExxonMobil facility has also recently started breaking down hard-to-recycle plastics to make them into raw materials for new products. Currently, their technology is capable of processing more than 80 million pounds of plastic waste per year.

Lantrip Elementary school is one of the 20 schools and facilities participating in HISD's program. They are a magnet school with a curriculum that focuses on environmental science.

Rhonda Schwer is the Principal at Lantrip Elementary. She said students will learn how to build a more sustainable Houston through this program.

"We don't know what to do with that bag of chips, we don't know what to do with those harder plastics," she said. "And so [we'll be] able to put all those plastics together and not worry about it."

Lantrip elementary has previously implemented other projects to their curriculum, such as a vegetable garden, greenhouse, and recycling center. However, Schwer said the new program will be at a higher level than previously implemented recycling programs because they will be collecting those hard-to-recycle plastics.

"This program is going to provide sustainability," she said. "For our students, for our city, and our world, really. Being able to recycle the difficult plastics."

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on 2/23 to include additional information on funders for the recycling program.

Patricia Ortiz

Patricia Ortiz


Patricia Ortiz is a daily reporter for News 88.7. Her work includes a variety of topics including transportation, technology, energy, immigration and education. Patricia graduated from the University of Houston in Fall 2022 with a Bachelor's in Journalism. She spent most of her college career at the university's literary magazine,...

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