Earlier this month, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) released a Recycling Market Development Plan (RMDP) that analyzes the state of recycling in Texas, including the economic impact of recycling and estimates of how much recyclable material is thrown away instead of being recycled.
In 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 649 directing TCEQ to develop a plan to stimulate the use of recycled material feedstocks, or raw material, in processing and manufacturing. The report found the recycling industry currently represents $4.8 billion for the Texas economy.
According to the plan, in 2019, 12.9 million tons of solid waste was recycled, up from 9.17 million in 2015. On top of that, an additional 6.9 million tons of Texas-generated industrial recycling was identified based on data collected through the RMDP survey. Based on the tons of recycling reported, the 2019 municipal solid waste recycling rate for Texas was 27.5 percent, which is a 4.8 percentage point increase in the recycling rate from the Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling study of 22.7 percent in 2015.
An estimated 43.8 percent of the total solid waste in MSW landfills in Texas could have been recycled.
The plan also includes:
- A Supply and Demand Analysis of Recycling
- Barriers and Opportunities to Recycling
- Recycling Market Development Strategies for State and Local Governments, and
- Recommendations for Implementing the Recycling Market Development Strategy
Read the full plan here.