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What Comes Next?-A Sulphur Springs Recycling Update

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recycling facility

We’ve gotten a lot of interest in recycling in the community. If a recycling facility is to be established locally, there are several steps that must be taken.

The first step in establishing a recycling facility will be for the community to designate a Recycling Coordinator. Someone will need to perform tasks such as setting up informational meetings and calling for the city council to pass a motion for recycling.

The next step will be deciding the type of recycling center that would best fit Sulphur Springs. Does the public want one main bin that everyone has to drive to so that they can drop off their recyclables? Or do citizens want to have curbside pick up that is collected in the same manner as the garbage collection? The cheaper option would be the one main bin, but the more convenient option is the curb-side service.

How will residents pay for these options? If there is enough support to encourage Sulphur Springs to have a recycling facility then the city council will propose an ordinance  or plan to increase taxes or establish a fee. While no one wants a tax increase, recycling centers have been shown to bring jobs to communities and have other benefits.  The city can be encouraged to apply for a grant to help fund a recycling center.

There is a group called the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR), who are actively trying to “increase recycling rates to the highest level afforded by balanced economic and environmental sustainability principles, for the benefit of the State and the people of Texas.” They provide workshops, seminars, and many volunteer opportunities to increase recycling awareness in Texas. If Sulphur Springs created a partnership with them, they could provide even more information about the benefits of recycling. In their most recent report the Texas Recycling Data Initiative “12,678 Texas jobs” were created through recycling programs.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) is planning on conducting a study to reveal “Current and potential economic impacts of recycling, including state and local revenue that may be considered lost because recyclable materials are not recycled.” The TECQ will publish their results in their annual report, “Municipal Solid Waste in Texas: A Year in Review, 2016 Data Summary and Analysis.” The study is a requirement after House Bill 2763- which was written to discuss the economic impacts of recycling. TCEQ also offers a wide variety of grants to local governments interested in taking care of the environment.

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Author: Savannah Everett

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