City of Houston to require new biodegradable bags

March 17, 2010 4:10:02 PM PDT
The City of Houston is changing the way it collects yard waste and it will cost you some extra cash. However, the city says in the long run the change will actually save everyone a lot of money. Beginning April 5, you'll have to trash the conventional bags you've been using to bag yard waste in the city of Houston. From then on, you'll need to use biodegradable composting bags.

"We're diverting the material from the landfill and saving taxpayer dollars, landfill space, and just doing what's right for the environment," said Marina Joseph with the City of Houston.

The city approved the change in September, seeing a need to lessen the burden on area landfills, while at the same time helping the environment.

"I think it's a good thing. Everybody has to do a little bit about it for our world," said resident Gustavo Huitron.

"I don't know. If it helps the environment and it helps people keep stuff from happening maybe so it's good," said resident Joseph Jones.

The average trash bag takes 100 years to decompose. These bags are a lot faster.

"The city has tested these compostable bags and these bags will decompose within three months," said Joseph.

There is a catch. Aside from the price, which can range from 60 cents to more than $1 per bag, you have to buy boxes and bags that have a City of Houston seal on them. That way the city knows they're biodegradable.

"If they don't have the city approved seal on it, we will not accept them and it'll be left at the curb," said Joseph.

You could face a fine of anywhere from $50 to $2,000. That's another kind of green you wouldn't want to throw away.

If you have a yard service, it is that service's responsibility to remove the yard waste, so it will be up to them to dispose of it properly and it will not be your responsibility to buy those bags.

There are at least seven stores where you can buy various varieties of the biodegradable bags. You can find a list of the retail locations here.


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