Recycling is a costly process when done incorrectly, and that is what has been happening in the city of Rosenberg for over a year.
Despite the thousands of dollars lost every month due to wrongful recycling practices by residents, Rosenberg City Council members have come to a consensus not to suspend the recycling process within the city.
This decision did not come easily, as councilors spent close to an hour discussing residential recycling services from Republic Services.
In 2019, Republic Services informed the council of issues with residential recyclables being wholly contaminated by the mixing of non-recyclable materials, therefore entire truckloads of contaminated recyclables were being diverted to landfills.
Republic reported that the recycling losses and financial impacts are substantial enough to warrant a full review of the recycling services currently being provided to all residential customers.
According to David Aguilar with Republic, it costs about $170 per ton to send the un-recyclable material to the landfill. Aguilar explained that about 11 tons per truck are un-recyclable.
“At the end of the day, it’s costing us a lot of money to recycle,” he told council.
Mayor Bill Benton said he would not want to be the one to tell the public that the city is doing away with recycling.
Aguilar asked that the city suspend recycling for a year until the public is more educated on the recycling process.
City Manager John Maresh noted that the city has done a lot to push public education on recycling in the city.
“Education is key,” council member Tim Anders said. “The sad part is my children are 22 and 25. They grew up with 9-11 and recycling being pounded into their heads by public schools.
“What’s the problem here? What’s not sticking? It may not be the kids. It may be the parents. I’ve stopped people from throwing pizza boxes into recycling. I hate to see it go. It has to be an individual responsibility.”
Benton suggested keeping recycling and looking into other ways to fix this issue. He suggested re-educating the public and talking to other services and finding better solutions.
“If things don’t improve, (citizens) can see a loss to that service,” he said. “You got to let people know, use it or lose it and improve on it.”
No action was taken at the workshop meeting.