The following is a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to SWMD 20 Year Long Range Plan.

The City is creating a 20-year Integrated Resource Recovery Management Plan (“Plan”) to enhance Houston’s environment and assure a healthy community through strategies to reduce the amounts of municipal solid waste generated and disposed. The Plan is intended to establish a financially sustainable solid waste management program that enhances Houston’s environment, encourages reduced per-capita disposal, increase recycling and ensures long-term infrastructure capacity to serve the community in an equitable manner.

With the projected growth in both the number of residents and businesses, long range solid waste management planning is a top priority. The City of Houston’s residents and businesses will generate approximately 4.2 million tons of municipal waste. With increases in population, this is projected to increase to 5.4 million tons in 2040. Because of the projected growth, it is critical that we plan for the long-term and identify solid waste management approaches with the goal of reducing the amounts of waste generated.

There are several phases in the project including needs assessment, analysis, plan development, public input and implementation. A large part of the process includes assessing the City’s current resources in terms of solid waste management services. With the input of residents, businesses and other key stakeholders, the City will determine options and craft a draft plan and further seek public input.

There are three opportunities for residents to share feedback on the plan. Residents can submit comments via email to longrange@houstontx.gov; can attend a virtual public meeting for more information and discussion; and submit feedback via this input survey. We thank you for your time and interest in the long-term management of solid waste material in Houston.

The Plan will achieve the objectives defined by the US Conference of Mayors resolution regarding Zero Waste Management Plans. These are specifically addressed under the Sustainable Materials Management goal. The principles and waste hierarchy of material management are as follows:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility and Product Redesign
  • Reduce Waste, Toxicity, Consumption and Packaging
  • Repair, Reuse and Donate
  • Recycle
  • Compost
  • Down Cycle and Beneficial Reuse
  • Waste-based energy as disposal
  • Landfill Waste as disposal

The SWMD is participating with other solid waste stakeholders to identify opportunities related to solid waste management policy related to the City’s Climate Action Plan. The recommendations in both plans will focus on reducing not just the waste related environmental impacts, but the opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a result of waste generation, collection and disposal.

Residents can complete the feedback form located on the long range plan website. Residents are encouraged to complete the survey and attend the virtual public meetings to share feedback.

Please visit http://mycity.houstontx.gov/mycityapps/mycity_serviceinfo_query.html to determine your collection schedule.