HOUSTON - Mayor Turner launched a new effort that he hopes will make it a little easier for residents to recycle glass bottles while the city works to bring back curbside glass recycling.
Starting this weekend, they’ll be putting in ten glass recycling drop boxes in spots around the city. This announcement comes three months after the city cut glass out of their curbside recycling program in March while facing a $160 million budget shortfall.
The largest glass recycling company in North America, Houston-based Strategic Materials, will be picking up the tab and also keeping the profits, while the city won’t pay a dime.
Denis Suggs, CEO and President of Strategic Materials, says this move will keep between 10,000 to 15,000 tons of glass out of city landfills each year.
Residents will also still be able to drop off glass at nine existing sites run by the city and processed by Strategic Materials.
Mayor Turner says he’s confident glass will eventually be added back into the curbside pickup program.
“My hope is to come back with something much better than what we’ve ever had in the city, so the answer’s yes,” said Mayor Turner while responding to a question about whether glass curbside recycling will return to the city.
Mayor Turner said between now and the end of their two-year contract with Waste Management in March 2018, the city will be working on putting together a new plan that includes curbside glass pickup.
Many who recycle feel this temporary plan is a step in the right direction.
“If you educate people about it, and you give them the opportunity to do that, people definitely will,” said Rebecca Sommers, of Houston. “If it saves money for the city too, that would be a big plus, right?”
The first two glass drop-off locations will open this weekend. The first will be located at Sharpstown Park, 6960 Bellaire Blvd. in Southwest Houston, open during park hours. The second will open at the Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center at 2208 Washington Ave., which will be accessible 24 hours.
Mayor Turner says the remaining eight drop-off sites will open over the next two and a half weeks, with locations still to be determined. He says the city has also been in conversation with Houston Independent School District to use elementary schools, as well, while Suggs says he hopes to grow the program over time.