City Of Dallas Turning Trash Into Dollars

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It used to be said, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Recycling has changed that.

There’s plenty of treasure in all cans, bottles, and paper, and Dallas is cashing in.

“This past year it brought back $2.3 million to the city,” said sanitation director Mary Nix, who added that amount came on 40,000 tons of recycling during the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The future promises even more, she said.

“This year it looks like we’re going to pick up 50,000 tons,” she says, adding, “Recycling is something we can sell back. Garbage is something we place in the landfill, but recycling has value.”

Dallas’ recyclable products go to Green Star in Garland where they are repurposed for new lives.

So for Dallas homeowners, yesterday’s newspaper may be the cardboard backing in the shirt they buy tomorrow.

Plus, while some city fees went up last year, thanks to a profit in recycling, sanitation fees are actually down.

Homeowners like Michael Malloy may be hard-pressed to determine which green they like better: The green in the environment, or the green in their checkbooks.

“Being aware of that will make us a little bit more active in doing it also,” he said. “Anything to keep it cheaper with any municipal fees? Absolutely.”

Nix says going to once-a-week garbage pickup helped put recycling in homeowners’ minds.

“And once that garbage cart was getting full and there was only one pickup they said, ‘Let me start using that blue cart,” Malloy said.

“At the end of the day it is good for the environment, I guess that’s the number one thing draw that I get from it,” he added. “I’d like to think it’s making just a little bit of a contribution inside, I’m thinking maybe it’ll help out.


One Comment

  1. Don says:

    This makes it sound like recycling makes a profit. Mary Nix’s line about it bringing 2.3 million back to the city is misleading, but she is very careful in her word choice so she is technically telling the truth. If it turns a “profit” why do I pay a fee to have recycling picked up? The fact is the 2.3 million is money that comes back but it doesn’t cover the cost of the recycling program. Don’t get me wrong – I recycle and I think it is the right thing to do but your story is misleading and you need to correct it. Don’t sugar coat this by making it sound like it doesn’t cost money. Not filling up the landfill is the right thing to do but the truth is while recycling income helps defray costs, it doesn’t even cover the cost of the program.

  2. Angel says:

    What you’re saying is also misleading because while yes there are costs to recycling there are also savings in not making garbage such as extending the life of a landfill. Recycling isn’t the just the “right” thing to do, it’s the “smart” thing to do.

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