City considers nixing curbside recycling

- Curbside recycling in Houston is in jeopardy. The city is drowning in debt and the cost of recycling isn’t helping.

The contract the city has with Waste Management of Texas ends this year and the city says they are doing everything they can to negotiate a better deal. A mayor spokesperson said they simply can’t afford to sign another long term agreement.

With the cost of oil low, the value of recyclable items is down too. Until prices improve the city said a short term contract with Waste Management of Texas is the only sensible option.

“The mayor has been looking at some other options,” said Janice Evans, a mayor spokesperson. “Maybe not having this new contract be for so long or maybe doing a shorter contract so that when the markets recover we can go back and take another look at it.”

Evans said the mayor is working directly with contractors to negotiate a better deal for a shorter period of time.

“Right now it really is a matter of the markets,” she said. “Everybody knows the oil industry is currently in a decline, there’s a pull effect, and the recycling market is also in decline.”

But, Evans added the city knows they will profit from the recycling program again sooner or later, and plan to move forward with curbside recycling one way or another.

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