WE THE UNDERSIGNED:
1. Appreciate your ongoing efforts to enhance the City's recycling program (the "Program"), and your willingness to read and carefully consider this petition.
2. Recognize that Houston is a city of sufficient size that there are economic, environmental, and moral imperatives to have a high quality Program, as measured against American cities of similar size.
3. Believe that the current Program efforts are insufficient, inferior to comparable cities, and require additional effort and resources.
4. Request that the following be immediately undertaken with your leadership and in conjunction with City Council:
A. Formal adoption of "waste diversion rate" as the primary metric for measuring success of the Program, with regular tabulation and public release thereof. Waste diversion rate shall be defined as the sum of recycled volume, composted volume, and source volume reduced divided by total waste volume.
B. Integration of the Program with the City's "regular" waste disposal program so that the overall waste management system is considered and budgeted in a comprehensive manner.
C. To encourage greater public participation in the Program, implementation of variable user fees for "regular" waste collection, the central features being implementation of variable size collection bins, with (a) price increasing proportional to bin size, and (2) a no-fee baseline small bin.
D. Expanded acceptance of materials currently refused by the Program, such as glass and building materials.
E. Expanded coverage of the Program to include currently neglected communities, including apartment/condo dwellers and commercial businesses.
F. Implementation of regulatory mandates where applicable, including (a)a requirement that locally permitted commercial businesses additionally submit for approval and subsequently follow comprehensive waste disposal and recycling plans, and (b) regulation of other waste disposal businesses such that they too must be in compliance with City Program-related regulations.
G. Implementation of industry best practices, including such Program initiatives as food waste recycling/composting from local restaurants and food stores, and recycling/re-use of demolished building materials by construction developers.
I. Creation of plans to gradually and appropriately bring about mandatory public participation in the Program.
J. Creation of formal and ongoing contacts, visitations, and study of comparable city programs for the express purpose of implementing ongoing improvements to the Program.