For the past three years, environmentally minded Houstonians have been diligently disposing of their used glass at one of the city’s several recycling depositories — after curbside glass recycling had been cut due to budget issues. Now, green-thinking locals can rejoice, as curbside recycling in green bins has returned to Houston.
On March 4, Mayor Sylvester Turner and city officials officially christened a new recycling facility in northeast Houston that is operated by FCC Environmental Services, a Spanish firm that received a 20-year deal to handle the city’s curbside recycling.
The agreement wasn’t without controversy: As the Houston Chronicle reported, funding constraints prompted Turner to strike a two-year deal with the city’s longtime recycling provider, Waste Management.
The deal meant only paper, cardboard, plastics, and metal cans could be disposed of curbside. The move lowered processing costs under the stopgap deal before the city inked the long-term contract with FCC.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, FCC noted that northeast Houston suffers from high unemployment and thus, the facility will be a boon to local job growth. Also, half of the jobs at the facility are “second-chance” opportunities for individuals who have a criminal background, according to Houston Public Media. FCC plans to move its headquarters to the area.
For Turner, the new facility and return to curbside glass recycling means his administration has made good on its word. “We said two years ago that, if given the opportunity, we would bring back recycling in the city of Houston, including glass,” Turner said at the event.