Glass is Back, Houston

Tried of schlepping glass to one of the city’s recycling facilities? That’s all in the past! Last week the mayors office announced that glass will once again be included in the City of Houston’s curbside recycling program. For the last two years, this particular material has been excluded from pickup, and anybody who wanted to recycle their leftover bottles and jars had to make a trip to an approved drop-off location that accepted glass. Paper products, aluminum, tin cans. cardboard, and plastics were still picked up from the green curbside bins but glass would be left behind. 

Recycling bins, image c/o Eric Kayne, Houston Chronicle.

The Reasons Why

The two year hiatus was the result of higher fees and the city’s attempt to cut back expenses. Waste Management, Houston’s previous recycling provider, raised their prices in response to the declining profitability for after-market glass and the loss in value when broken glass intermingles and contaminates other recyclables. C.OH.’s new contact with FCC has both parties bearing the financial responsibilities, allowing the city to take on less risk, and share in revenue when the resale price of recycling rises.

The opening of the new recycling facility. Image c/o City of Houston


Image c/o

New Contractor for Houston

The C.O.H. combined forces with Spain-based contractor FCC Environmental Services, which now operates out of a city-owned 120,000 square foot facility in northeast Houston. As a result of the new contract, you can toss your brown, green, and clear glass items in the recycling bin and skip the trip to the recycling center (or avoid those guilt-ridden feelings of throwing glass in the regular garbage). Remember that glass should be clean, dry, and empty, the same standards for all other recyclable material. Yes, it’s one more step to take, but it’s all for the greater good. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

For long term benefits, the best solution is to learn about what can and cannot be recycled, thoroughly clean recyclables before tossing them in the bin, and keep trash separate. Whenever possible, reduce your dependence on single-use containers and switch to reusable items. Remember-reduce, reuse, and recycle! Visit the City of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department here for more information. 

Featured Image c/o KPRC. Social Media Image c/o C.O.H.