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by Zoe Killian, Keep Texas Recycling Program Manager

Who keeps the Lone Star State recycling? Texans do!

Since 1994, the Keep Texas Recycling program has expanded recycling access to and improved programs in rural communities across the state, impacting over 517,000 Texans. Community partners have recycled 333 million lbs of material, saved 550,000 cubic yards of Texas land from becoming landfill space, and generated $12.3 million in revenue for their communities. 

Rural towns in sparsely populated counties face many challenges when starting or maintaining a sustainable recycling program. Challenges include limited tax revenues, lack of or aging infrastructure, distances to processing facilities, and limited startup funds. The Keep Texas Recycling staff helps overcome these barriers by developing individualized plans to suit each community’s unique needs to start and sustain a recycling program. 

KTB currently supports 54 Keep Texas Recycling program partners including representation from civic groups, municipalities, military bases, government entities, and school districts. Partners of the program receive the following benefits:

  • Consultation on the implementation or improvement of a recycling program
  • Best practices and strategy for education and outreach programs
  • Technical assistance through site visits, webinars, regional training days, and workshops
  • Contract negotiations with end-markets, coordination of transportation, and sale of recyclables
  • Access to apply for grant funds provided by strategic partners such as H-E-B and Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages. And, KTB is always working to find more opportunities to provide funding support to partners.
  • Networking and connection to other recycling communities

The program’s biggest strength is the network of dedicated partners that keep Texas recycling. Although each community experiences unique challenges, they have the support of the Keep Texas Recycling program team AND over 50 other communities that can help them through shared experiences. 

Check out the impact of these connections in action!

Burleson County received a grant from H-E-B & KTB to build a new cardboard recycling center. To kick off the planning process, KTB  organized a tour and meeting between Burleson County and Fayette County staff. Fayette County’s program has been part of the Keep Texas Recycling program since 1999 and offered insights on baling techniques and general operation best practices. Burleson County opened its new center in September 2023 and already has plans to expand in the future!



The City of Ingleside opened its recycling center thanks to a grant from H-E-B and KTB in 2022. Due to an electrical installation delay, they didn’t receive formal baler training when the units were first delivered. To help them get their bales to mill specifications, KTB staff scheduled a tour of the Cuero Recycling Center which has been part of the Keep Texas Recycling program since 1996. The Ingleside team received on-site demonstrations and tips from Cuero staff. You can see the direct impact on the quality of bales from before and after the training day.

Photo credit: H-E-B

The City of Uvalde has been a partner of Keep Texas Recycling since 1997. Their recycling center is a great example of a sustainable program that has grown over time and serves as a model program for the region. The City of Floresville received an H-E-B Community Recycling Grant from KTB to build a new recycling center in 2024. To help generate ideas and connect them with experienced neighboring communities, Keep Texas Recycling staff organized a tour of the Uvalde recycling center. Floresville staff received inspiration for designing their new center, hands-on training with equipment, and made great connections for future questions.

They say it “takes a village”, but in the Keep Texas Recycling program’s 30 years of experience, we say it “takes a whole state.”

 Partners span Texas–from the dedicated school staff and students operating the Booker ISD recycling program in the Panhandle down to the City of Ingleside’s recycling program that serves San Patricio County on the Gulf of Mexico — and all the Keep Texas Recycling community partners in between. These connections across the state and the comraderies in recycling make the Keep Texas Recycling program special.

If your community is interested in starting a recycling program or needs assistance with an existing program, please reach out to Zoe Killian, Keep Texas Recycling Program Manager,  at To learn more about the Keep Texas Recycling program, visit