- Just after the city of Houston severed negotiations over a new recycling contract with Waste Management due to financial constraints, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the city has now reached a mutual agreement with Waste Management to continue recycling services.
- The proposed two-year contract includes a $90-per-ton processing fee and also ensures Waste Management will receive 75% of the city's revenue from waste services. However, the deal comes with a catch: glass will no longer be accepted in curbside recycling.
- The new agreement will save Houston $2 million over the two-year period, according to city officials.
After an original six-year contract with a cost of $95-per-ton was proposed by Waste Management, the city of Houston countered with a two-year offer at $104-per-ton. Waste Management continued to counter that deal, and after none of the proposals could be agreed on mutually, the negotiations came to a halt.
"We want to continue to recycle in Houston. I hope you will let our Mayor know that you would like him to have constructive discussions to find a solution. We stand ready and willing to talk," Waste Management CEO David Steiner had said in an email to Melanie Scruggs of the Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund.
Then, finally, compromises were made. While both sides may not be entirely pleased financially, the newly proposed contract allowed the city and waste company to make amends — which was especially important, as Houston is Waste Management's hometown.
"This agreement makes good economic sense for the city and for Waste Management," Turner said in a statement. "It reaffirms our commitment to recycling, doesn’t tie the city to a long-term contract, allows Waste Management to avoid the employee layoffs that would have likely resulted from cancelation of service in Houston and provides an opportunity for potential competitors to enter the market."
Although Waste Management's current contract is set to expire on March 16, the company agreed to extend it until March 23. Therefore, the city should not expect disruption of service between contracts.