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Houston Matters

Can Houston Really Afford Not to Recycle?

On Friday (March 11, 2016), Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a new proposed contract with Waste Management, which — if approved by the City Council next week — would allow the city to continue to offer recycling services without disruption for the next two years. Mayor Turner had balked at Waste Management’s initial contract offer […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public Media

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On Friday (March 11, 2016), Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a new proposed contract with Waste Management, which — if approved by the City Council next week — would allow the city to continue to offer recycling services without disruption for the next two years.

Mayor Turner had balked at Waste Management's initial contract offer as too long and cost-prohibitive, and had threatened that the city might need to suspect recycling altogether.

According to the Texas Campaign for the Environment, some 40 percent of Texas landfills leak. Recycling eases the strain on landfills. So, while the city may not be able to afford what Waste Management really wants, can the city – and the environment and communities surrounding it – really afford not to recycle?

To discuss that question, we talk with Melanie Scruggs, program director for the Texas Campaign for the Environment.

MORE: Mayor Turner Announces New Curbside Recycling Contract With Waste Management (News 88.7, March 11, 2016)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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