From schools and universities to households, learn about the recycling programs that we support.
Keep Texas Beautiful supports affiliate efforts in recycling programs through a few different avenues. KTB provides resources and technical assistance to affiliates looking to start or grow an existing recycling program. Due to KTB’s strong connections throughout the state, we are able to connect affiliates with local and statewide partners who are able to further assist in their own community.
KTB also offers recycling grants to affiliates throughout the year. These grants help to get recycling programs started locally and support existing recycling efforts. These grants have helped to support purchase new recycling bins for schools and farmers markets, renovate signage at recycling centers, and even offset the cost to pave a parking spot for a recycling dumpster. Affiliate recycling programs vary widely from community to community, based on the community needs and resources.
- America Recycles Day
- How to start a recycling program, EPA R4 resource
- Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling
- Waste Management RORR.com
- Cooperative Teamwork and Recycling Assistance
- Carton Council
- National Recycling Coalition
- Circular Economy/Ellen Macarthur Foundation
- EPA Sustainable Materials Management Program
America Recycles Day
Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day.
More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs in the United States. One day to inform and educate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year.
Through America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, in partnership with the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, are able to support local communities and raise awareness among all segments of the population.
There's no need to wait until November. Check out these helpful links to begin making a difference in your community today:
How to start a recycling program, EPA R4 resource
Establishing a community recycling program is a wise investment in the local and regional economy, a strong commitment to reducing energy needs, and an effective way of preserving our environment. Even with the best intentions, getting started can be daunting. The collection of materials from the EPA is meant to help communities establish a strong, vibrant collection program. From how to develop and write a strong contract, to building support from elected officials, this toolkit will help you do it all from start to finish.
Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) conducted a study on the current and potential economic impacts of recycling, including state and local revenue that may be considered lost because recyclable materials are not recycled. The study looked at results from the year 2015. On the website you can will find links to the study and other related content.
According to the Study, approximately 9.2 million tons of municipal solid waste designated material were recycled in Texas in 2015. Typical recyclables (paper, plastics, metal, and glass), organics (yard trimmings, brush, green waste, and food and beverage materials), and construction and demolition materials accounted for 8.7 million tons, or 94.4 percent of the total recycled materials in Texas. Based on an average commodity market for typical recyclables, organics, and C&D materials, $702 million in materials were recycled in Texas in 2015.
The Study also found that the recycling of municipal solid waste creates economic benefits for the Texas economy, with more than 17,000 person years of direct, indirect, and induced employment supported during 2015. The overall impact of recycling MSW on the Texas economy exceeded $3.3 billion.
This study was required by House Bill 2763, 84th Legislature, relating to a study of the current and potential economic impacts of recycling.
Waste Management RORR.com
This site is here to educate you on this important topic, and to offer tools you can use to make recycling sustainable for future generations. You can find tools tailored for your need by selecting whether you are a resident, business, educator, property manager, or in the government. These tools provide videos and printable resources for getting recycling started, handy posters and signs, brochures, curriculum, and so much more!
In the newsroom, you can learn more about the changing world of recycling, industry news and trends. The newsroom is updated regularly, so the latest information on the quality of our recycling stream is readily available. There’s also links to quick videos updates and the latest reports and studies by Waste Management and other recycle leaders.
The myths page offers common misconceptions on what can and cannot be recycled. It’s a great reference source if you are ever in doubt of what should recycled, and you can learn more about alternatives to putting items in the trash. It also shows best practices of how to properly recycle items.
RORR.com offers great downloadable resources for you. Some of our favorites include this how-to recycling poster, this graphic with 3 recycling rules and this amazing toolkit for property managers to begin recycling programs.
Cooperative Teamwork and Recycling Assistance
The Cooperative Teamwork and Recycling Assistance (CTRA) is a nonprofit organization that consists of 60 rural recycling cooperatives representing more than 500 public, private and nonprofit entities. They work to provide cooperative marketing of recyclable commodities, to promote the development of end-markets for recyclables in Texas.
CTRA offers a guide to creating and maintaining green events. This lengthy guide provides information from the start of planning an event to evaluations following the event. It includes green considerations for promotional materials, food and service, music, and beyond.
Recycle-Bowl provides a tool for teachers, student green teams and facility service professionals to engage their K-12 school community in a fun and friendly way. Whether a school has an extensive recycling program or is just getting basic recycling collections off the ground, experience has shown that all schools have potential to increase their recycling rates.
Register. Recycle. Report.
Think your school has game? Register to enter the competition via the online form at www.Recycle-Bowl.org. To compete, your school will collect, track and then report your recyclable material during a four-week time frame from mid-October to mid-November.
- State Champions – The top school in each state that collects the most recyclable material (per capita) will win a $1,000 prize.
- National Community Recycling Champion Schools – Involve your community! If your school collects recyclable material from around the community, this will be treated as a separate competition category. This category offers a $1,000 first prize, a $750 second prize and a $500 third prize.
- National District Champion – School districts competing nationally against other school districts. There will be one national first-place $1,000 prize.
- National Title – America’s Top Recycling School! An additional $1,000 and $2,500 in store credit from Busch Systems to top performer among the State Champions.
August 6: Registration opens
October 12: Registration closes
October 15 - November 15: Competition is held
November 16 - December 15: Report data
March: Announce winners!
RecycleMania is a competition and benchmarking tool for collegiate recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.
Over an 8-week period, schools report recycling and litter data, which is then ranked according to several criteria: the largest amount of recyclables collected (per capita), the total amount of recyclables collective, the least amount of trash (per capita) and the highest recycling rate per campus. This program helps to:
- raise awareness about waste reduction
- increase recycling
- benchmark against other school's recycling efforts
The Carton Council, formed in 2009, is a group of packaging companies seeking to reduce the environmental impact of cartons by expanding recycling programs across the country and continuously improving cartons’ environmental performance.
Through long-term collaborative solutions such as the promotion of recycling technology and local collection programs, the Carton Council strives to divert valuable cartons from landfills throughout the United States. In alliance with the Carton Council, Keep Texas Beautiful will strengthen its focus on waste reduction through the programs and knowledge that the Carton Council brings to our broad network of community affiliates.
Made mostly from paper, cartons are valuable for their paper fiber which plays a fundamental role in the creation of new products. Adding cartons to a recycling program increases waste diversion, reducing the need for disposal, and offers a potential revenue stream from the sale of cartons. Together, Keep Texas Beautiful and the Carton Council will foster efforts to utilize the carton as a renewable resource that can be used to make new products such as office paper, tissues and building materials.
Hoping to limit the number of cartons that become waste, Keep Texas Beautiful will provide carton recycling resources and training sessions to educate affiliates on the growth of carton recycling in Texas. “Carton Council is pleased to partner with Keep Texas Beautiful to expand carton recycling across the state,” Michele Wagner, regional representative with Carton Council. “We are especially excited to work with KTB affiliates as they are the driving force in so many Texas communities for recycling and waste reduction opportunities.”
As carton recycling continues to gain momentum in Texas, there are common questions that are raised. Read The Truth About Carton Recycling: Myth vs. Reality to learn more about the carton recycling process.
In addition to educating the community, Keep Texas Beautiful hopes that the partnership will integrate carton recycling and encourage participation in various Keep America Beautiful recycling programs like America Recycles Day and Recycle-Bowl.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s TexasRecyclesComputers.org website provides consumers with free options to recycle their computers.
At the easy-to-use site, consumers select their computer brand on the list and then click on the manufacturer’s name to be redirected to the manufacturer’s recycling website. If a manufacturer is not on the list, TexasRecyclesComputers.org has other resources available to help recycles old computers. The website also contains downloadable resources to help promote computer recycling, such as ready-to-go articles and banner ads.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s TexasRecyclesTVs.org website provides consumers with free options to recycle their TVs.
At the easy-to-use site, consumers select their television brand on the list, and then click on the manufacturer’s name to be redirected to the manufacturer’s recycling website. The website also contains downloadable resources to help promote television recycling.
National Recycling Coalition
The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on the promotion and enhancement of recycling in the United States. They have a network of more than 6,000 members that extends across waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. Members are provided tools and resources they need to convey to their community members, decision makers, and the news media the important benefits that recycling provides to our economy and environment.
Every third Tuesday of the month from 1:30-2:45pm EDT, they host a live webinar and save recordings of past webinars on their website. They also post information on available webinars put on by their national partner organizations.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications, and a large offering of technical training courses. TxSWANA is the state chapter.
SWANA offers weekly webinars on topics presented by industry leaders and practitioners. Topics address industry best practices, innovations, lessons learned, and much more! Participants are able to receive CEUs for these webinar presentations. You can find upcoming and previously recorded webinars on their website as well.
Their website includes a robust resource list, including hurricane disaster, natural gas and summertime safety, and guidelines for contracting best practices. There resources are backed by years of research and large national case studies.
SWANA offers scholarships for students about to enter college, who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs. To be considered for these scholarships, students must be related to a current SWANA member or be a SWANA student member in good standing. The deadline to submit application materials for any scholarship is May 1 and winners will be announced in the beginning of August. You can find more information about scholarship opportunities here.
Circular Economy/Ellen Macarthur Foundation
In a circular economy, economic activity builds and rebuilds overall system health. The concept recognises the importance of the economy needing to work effectively at all scales- for large and small businesses, for organizations and individuals, globally and locally.
Transitioning to a circular economy does not only amount to adjustments aimed at reducing the negative impacts of the linear economy. Rather, it represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits.
Please visit their website to learn more about the Circular Economy and the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.
EPA Sustainable Materials Management Program
Sustainable materials management (SMM) is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. It represents a change in how our society thinks about the use of natural resources and environmental protection. By looking at a product's entire life cycle, we can find new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources and reduce costs.
The EPA website offers tools and resources from starting up a recycling program to evaluating programs. The website also offers free webinars about SMM key issues, successful projects, and a variety of best management practices for creating materials and waste management programs.