Activity In 2021
Residential waste increased 7% to 768,940 tons in 2020 from 718,506 tons in 2019 (1-year lag in data reporting)
Reduce residential waste by 90,000 tons every 5 years to reach the 50% reduction target by 2040. The city will review the opportunity for a municipal green procurement policy in 2022.
How is Houston Reducing Residential Waste?
The city will ensure that waste is properly addressed and that the long-term plan is one that maintains the environmental health of Houston. Reducing the availability of single-use items represents an opportunity to avoid the need for diversion and disposal. Unfortunately, Texas, along with 13 other states, has passed legislation which preempts municipalities from banning single-use plastics. This means that the City of Houston is not able to adopt ordinances that regulate or ban specific materials—including single-use plastics, plastic bags, and polystyrene—from being used in the private sector. There are many actions Houstonians can take to prevent or delay materials from ending up in a landfill or, even worse, illegally dumped in our communities. Sustainable materials management is a holistic, systemic approach to maximize productivity and minimize environmental impacts across the full life cycle of materials. Each stage of a product’s life cycle—from extraction, to production and manufacturing, to transportation and distribution, to home and business use, and ultimately to disposal—carries some degree of environmental impact. Since energy is expended throughout every step of this process, reusing and recycling can help to conserve energy and decrease GHG emissions. The city is in the process of implementing a 20-year solid waste management plan to meet the community’s long-term solid waste needs and protect the environment. One of the goals is to make the management of materials more sustainable by increasing reuse, recycling and composting, and decreasing environmental risks of waste disposal in landfills in order to make Houston a zero-waste community. This plan and other efforts to reduce waste will set Houston on the path forward to meet residential waste reduction goals.
- 2021 Data Source
- COH ARA / Solid Waste