The state of waste in Texas
There are about 195 active landfills in Texas with a capacity to handle the landfill needs of the state for the next 57 years, according to the 2012 Municipal Solid Waste Management Annual Summary.
Thanks to increased waste diversion rates in recent years, Texas was able to keep over 1.2 million tons of waste out of landfills in 2012. This diverted waste was either recycled, composted or reused.
The state also has more than two dozen landfill gas-to-energy facilities which harvest the methane gas naturally produced by rotting garbage and convert it to usable energy.
How to responsibly dispose of different types of waste
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is in charge of enforcing rules and laws pertaining to recycling and other environmental issues.
The TCEQ put together a useful guide to help Texans determine the most eco-friendly way to dispose of just about anything. Access this recycling guide here
Save money and reduce waste by composting
As much as 30% of municipal waste in the U.S. is compostable, including yard debris, food scraps and paper products. The TCEQ encourages residents to compost.
Benefits of composting:
- It’s free organic fertilizer and soil additive
- Reducing waste output by up to 30% could reduce the cost of your waste hauling bill
Learn more about composting:
C&D debris must go to designated C&D landfills
Construction and demolition (C&D) debris is the second most landfilled type of waste in the state. In 2012, C&D debris accounted for 17% of the waste stream, totaling more than 5.2 million tons.
C&D debris includes, but is not limited to bricks, concrete, drywall, flooring, shingles and more.
Most of these materials are recyclable if you separate it in the dumpster. For instance, keep concrete in one dumpster, wood in another, etc…
If hauling C&D debris yourself, drop it off at a permitted C&D landfill for proper recycling and disposal. These are Type IV landfills, and there are 22 of them in the state (as of 2012). Most are located in the Houston-Galveston area.
***You may get a better dumpster rental rate if you plan to source separate C&D debris because recycling debris rather than dropping it off at a landfill is a more cost-effective option for the waste hauler.