No more trash in landfills. Cities across America, like Dallas, are pushing programs to accomplish that. It’s called Zero Waste, and Dallas is way behind its goal. To catch up, it's considering a new option that could affect 210,000 residents.
Last summer, Verify hooked up with viewer Rick Gavos. He wanted to verify if Dallas could ever hit its goal of recycling all this trash before it ever hit the landfall.
“We need to make a more concerted effort,” Gavos said.
It was a hot topic at City Hall, this week, where leaders focused in on apartments which create 25 percent of the waste but are not required to recycle.
“At some point, you just got to tell people, here's what we're going to do,” said Councilman Mark Clayton during a committee hearing.
On our Verify journey, Rick and I got our hands dirty at Dallas' state-of-the-art recycling facility and saw how much recyclable material ends up in the city landfill.
We also learned from Dr. Sahadat Hoassain, the Director of the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability at the University of Texas at Arlington, that better recycling rates conflict with basic economics.
His research shows, In Texas, it costs $20-50 to dump a ton of trash in the landfill. To recycle a ton, it costs $150-200. So, recycling can be 4-5 times more expensive.
So, city leaders now said it's time for local government to drive the equation. They voted to draft a new ordinance forcing apartment buildings to offer recycling. If it passes, it would cover nearly 210,000 residents.
“When you don't recycle, you're every stereotype of a bad city that just a glutton, versus a city that's progressive and thoughtful,” Clayton said.
What did Rick verify about Dallas' goal of recycling everything that's recyclable?
“I don't think we're going to get there, but I think every part that we can do, to help try to attain, is something we should all do,” Gavos said.
Councilman Clayton agrees.
“I think there stretch goals and practical goals. Having apartments recycle is a practical goal. That's something we can absolutely reach,” Clayton said.