H-E-B Stores Double as Recycling Centers

There's a new push to increase recycling efforts in the Houston area. The recycling company, Abitibi, is partnering with H-E-B and the city of Houston to collect recyclable products all across the city. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports.

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Abitibi is the company that collects and sorts curbside recycling for the city of Houston. But not all Houston residents have curbside recycling. So in an effort to reach more people who don't have access to neighborhood recycling, the company will start collecting recyclable goods from 28 H-E-B stores. Houston Mayor Bill White says he wants to encourage all Houstonians to recycle.

"Every time we fill up a dump with material that could be reused it's costly to our community. We have to pay for that dump space and that dump space is near neighborhoods and nobody wants a dump near their neighborhood, right? And then if we put it far away then we have to haul it way far away in order to fill up that dump and that uses a lot of fuel and it's more expensive and it causes more pollution."

The idea is for people to load up their newspapers, plastics, metal containers and aluminum and haul it to the bins when they go grocery shopping. Abitibi Vice President Sylvain Longval says they did a study of residents' recycling habits.

"What's preventing people from recycling a lot of times is the availability of a way to do it easy, every day during the time they do their daily routines. So when the offer came over from H-E-B to look at doing something with recycling at their stores, it just made a whole lot of sense."

The only commonly recycled item not accepted in the containers is glass, although a company spokesman says they may add glass products later. Abitibi will donate part of the proceeds from the recycled products to the Keep Texas Beautiful organization. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...