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City Council Delays Vote On Future Of Houston’s Recycling Program

Will Houstonians lose their curbside recycling service? That’s what is at stake as the City Council has to decide whether to approve a new contract with the company that collects the refuse in Houston.


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The Houston City Council has again delayed a vote on a new contract with Waste Management for its curbside recycling service.

At issue is how the city is going to pay for the about $3 million more per year.

If it can't come up with the money and the council doesn't approve the new contract, Houstonians won't have their recyclables picked up at the curb anymore.

The old contract just expired, but Mayor Sylvester Turner said he and Waste Management extended it for two weeks to find a compromise.

"(We're) trying to see if we can construct something that will work better for us in terms of meeting our revenue constraints and at the same time continuing recycling," Turner said.

He said the city has been in negotiations with the company for the last six months. Waste Management is losing money on recycling because of low commodity prices.

Eleven people signed up to address the council on this issue Tuesday.

Sara Lyons said despite being a single mom, she would accept paying a monthly garbage fee if it meant keeping recycling service.

"Our three-person household, we fill up our recycling bin, sometimes we have to hold it and wait," she said. "Sometimes I wish the city would start picking up recycling weekly and couch the big black bins to bi-weekly."

Turner said he is not considering implementing a garbage fee.

The deadline to approve the new contract is now March 9.