News / Blog

Feb 27 15

Texas Recycling Data Initiative Results are In!

By Chief Solutionist
The article below was created by STAR (State of Texas Alliance for Recycling)
About TRDI
The Texas Recycling Data Initiative (TRDI) is a study that quantifies the amount of recycling that occurred in Texas in 2013 and establishes a baseline recycling rate to measure future progress.
The study utilized a voluntary, collaborative, and confidential approach to gather data from hundreds of processors and end users of recyclable material generated in Texas, making it the first of its kind in the state.
TRDI is led by a partnership between STAR and the Lone Star Chapter of the Texas Solid Waste Association of North America (TxSWANA), who started working on this groundbreaking effort in 2011.
The results from the TRDI report are intended to give Texas policy makers the information they need to examine the economic, environmental, and policy issues of interest to Texas businesses, citizens, and governmental agencies.
Speaking of results… 
So what did the TRDI study find? You can download the report in its entirety using this link, but to give you a quick synopsis, TRDI found that:

  • More than 6 million tons of material from municipal solid waste (MSW) sources was recycled (sold to market as feedstock to create new products) in 2013 (see the breakdown of recyclable material by commodity below)
  • Based on the tons of MSW recycled as measured by the TRDI survey, and state disposal data, the baseline MSW recycling rate calculated by TRDI for 2013 is 18.9 percent
  • TRDI estimates that more than 12,500 Texas jobs are supported by processing materials recovered from the MSW stream to prepare them for use by recycling manufacturers (not including collection, transportation, and manufacturing)
  • TRDI found that nearly 555,000 tons of curbside collected recyclable material was processed in 2013, equating to an annual average of around 500 pounds per household

Outreach and Media Coverage
Since this is new and exciting information for Texas, we’ve been trying to get the word out to as many folks as possible. We celebrated the release of the report with legislators, industry, municipal, and regulatory representatives on February 4th in Austin with a luncheon presentation of the results, followed by a facilitated discussion about future TRDIstudies. The discussion identified a few action items and outcomes that will make TRDI stronger in the future, including: a sustainable funding source, an expanded scope of commodities, and more robust correlative information to economic and environmental impacts.
We had a press release go out last week that has been picked up byMSW Management Magazine and Power Engineering Magazine, as well as an article that was run in the Resource Recycling Plastics Update. We were also on Fox 7 Austin talking about the findings (click to watch!), as well as the Shades of Green radio show (click to listen!). Is your local newspaper looking to run a press release on TRDI? If so, let Sara Nichols know and we can help make that happen!
 
TRDI Results Presentation Webinar
If you missed out on the results presentation and report release on February 4th in Austin, then you’re in luck! Join Maia Corbitt, STAR’s Executive Director, and Scott Pasternak, senior project manager for Burns & McDonnell, on March 2nd at 2 p.m. CT for a webinar that will cover the methodology of how TRDI was conducted and what information the report contains about what recycling is occurring in Texas.
Click here to register for this free webinar, and feel free to share the registration link with friends and colleagues. Help us get the word out that recycling means investing in Texas!