The Dallas City Council is taking a “do-over” on its new strategic trash and recycling plan. Environmentalists and businesses claimed they were shut out of the discussion.
The plan calls for aggressive recycling that includes the city’s apartment complexes – heretofore left out of the city’s recycling program. It would also look for technology to turn trash into fuel or energy. And it would ban plastic bags … eventually. Robin Schneider with the Texas Campaign for the Environment said the plan’s timeline for that was confusing.
“Page 17 said the single use bag issues would be brought up in the first one to five years, but when you look at the four core pages of the plan, that would not even be considered until 2021 or 2025, said Schneider.”
Council member Linda Koop agreed the timelines could be a detriment rather than a help and offered an amendment that removed them and called for more input from citizens.
“I think it’s really important for all of us to acknowledge the fact that we are becoming a greener city and we want to move in that direction as quickly as possible, but we also want input from all the stakeholders available, said Koop.”
The strategic waste and recycle plan was put together by the engineering firm HDR at a cost of $160,000. There was an advisory committee that city officials say met twice. Critics say it was not an effective group. Kathy Carlton with the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas was among names on the city’s list of committee members. She says she never got the invitation, and wants to be involved the second time around.
“We ask that the advisory committee be reconvened and that it include representatives from retail, business, restaurant, hotel and apartment entities, said Carlton.”
Council member Linda Koop says the strategic 50 year plan aims to make Dallas a “zero waste” city by 2040. She says it’s a living document with plenty of room for input. The reconstituted committee will also look specifically at parts of the plan that could be put into effect in the next couple of years.