Advocating for sound policies that support the growth and resiliency of Texas recycling is one of STAR's mission values. STAR has worked hard to support the Texas recycling industry for many years through various research and policy efforts. Below are some key examples:
Texas Recycling Data Initiative (TRDI)
STAR's early research efforts generated the Texas Recycling Data Initiative (TRDI), which was conducted in 2014 with results released in February 2015. It offered the first comprehensive and reliable look at recycling activity in the state since the 1990's and demonstrated a strong free-market case for increased recycling. TRDI pinpointed some key observations that can be used to initiate and enhance recycling programs at both a regional and state level. The study also provided crucial economic data that was used to incentivize businesses to begin or continue their work in the state, bringing more processors, end markets, and jobs to Texas. The Texas Legislature was so impressed with TRDI that lawmakers overwhelming approved another study to look at trends in recycling and see how the state has improved its efforts since this initial report.
Download TRDI here: Texas Recycling Data Initiative
Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling (SEIR)
In 2015, House Bill 2763, sponsored by Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) and Rep. Ed Thompson (R-Pearland), required the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to conduct a recycling analysis that was in many ways a follow-up to TRDI. The new analysis, called the Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling (SEIR), was a collaborative, voluntary effort and its success depended upon input, endorsement, and involvement from a broad range of recycling industry stakeholders. The study found that 9.2 million tons of MSW were recycled in Texas in 2015, and that this material was valued at $702 million. To continue the positive momentum of advancing recycling in Texas, using the data generated from SEIR, STAR worked hard during Texas' 86th Legislative Session in 2019 to successfully develop and pass legislation aimed to support and grow the Texas recycling industry markets, including the manufacturing sector, and launch a comprehensive educational campaign about the economics of recycling as well as contamination reduction.
Download SEIR here: Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling
Recycling Market Development Plan (RMDP)
In 2019, Senate Bill 649, sponsored by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and Rep. Ed Thompson (R-Pearland), required the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in cooperation with the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office, to create a Recycling Market Development Plan (RMDP). An initial study will be conducted to: 1) identify and estimate the quantity and types of recyclable materials available to be used as feedstock in processing and manufacturing; 2) identify the barriers to the use of these materials; and 3) identify means to overcome the barriers. The data from the study will be utilized to draft the RMDP, which will suggest ways and means to stimulate the use of recycling materials as feedstock in processing and manufacturing. The work will also produce materials to be used by TCEQ in the development of an education program on the benefits of recycling, highlighting companies in the Texas recycling industry, and contamination reduction. An interim report is due to the legislature in September 2020 and the full report will be release September 2021.
Download the text of the bill here: Senate Bill 649