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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Announces New Curbside Recycling Contract With Waste Management

The press conference took place at City Hall Friday, March 11.

Update from earlier story

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that he has reached an agreement with Waste Management that will allow that company to continue to be the contractor for recycling in Houston. But glass will no longer be a part of curbside recycling.

The proposal is a two-year contract with a $90 per ton processing fee and a guarantee to Waste Management of at least 75 percent of the City's recycling stream.

The exclusion of glass from the green curbside recycling bins will lower processing costs for Waste Management. The mayor says glass generally breaks during collection and transportation to the processing site. It is also unduly destructive to the processing equipment. Residents may continue to drop off glass for recycling at the City's neighborhood depositories.

Pending final approval from city council, Turner and Waste Management have agreed to a 2-year contract that the mayor says will save the city $2 million.

The mayor emphasized that the agreement makes good economic sense, and will also help avoid lay-offs at Waste Management.

Previously this week, Turner had stopped negotiation with the company because he didn’t agree with the terms of the 6-year contract they were initially proposing.

In a statement, Mayor Turner said:

"I want to thank Waste Management for being willing to reconsider our arrangement and engage in shared sacrifice," said Mayor Turner. "This agreement makes good economic sense for the city and for Waste Management. It reaffirms our commitment to recycling, doesn't tie the City to a long-term contract, allows Waste Management to avoid the employee layoffs that would have likely resulted from cancellation of service in Houston and provides an opportunity for potential competitors to enter the market."

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