Landmark Statewide Recycling Program Under Consideration
Texas State Senator Larry Taylor has filed SB 2308 for the comptroller to conduct a study on the feasibility and desirability of implementing a statewide recycling program that focuses on collection of material that are frequently littered: beverage containers, single-use bags and drink cups.
Nonprofit Ground Work Dallas (GWD) has been a leading steward of urban water, and their weekly clean-ups along the Elm Fork of the Trinity have collected more than 40 tons of trash over the last three years. However, GWD finds that they keep removing trash from the same places in and along the river, and see this legislation as the beginning of more focused activity to help ameliorate the problem.
A senate committee interim report stated that the Texas Department of Transportation spends $47 million annually on roadside litter clean up, yet found a more than 80 percent increase of total litter. Study of nine Texas communities showed more than $50 million per year in direct costs of litter and illegal dumping. A recent Texas Commission of Environmental Quality report found the recycling industry contributes more than $3.3 billion annually to Texas economy and provides nearly 18,000 jobs; on par with pipe transportation and broadcasting.
“The study will provide valuable information on a potential innovative solution to big problems here in Texas. We could reduce problematic debris and provide a new revenue source for the state to help communities with disaster recovery and resiliency by incentivizing the collection and recycling of plastic material,” explains Taylor.
SB 2308 would study a rebate system for certain plastic and single-use items, providing a monetary incentive for the public to recover and recycle material, supporting recycling programs and Texas manufactures; fund long-term, comprehensive county administration of litter/illegal dumping prevention, abatement and violation enforcement; and support flood mitigation infrastructure projects.
The framework would place a one cent fee at point-of-sale for(#1 beverage containers, grocery bags and single-use drink cups. Consumers could aggregate their plastic to receive a rebate of 25 cents per pound for beverage containers and all applicable plastic film returned. This could generate more than $200 million per year
Read the bill at Tinyurl.com/TexasSB2308.