West University Place's RecyclExpress recycling center closing its doors

RecyclExpress is expected to close its doors for good at noon on January 2
December 30, 2013 3:29:10 PM PST
A recycling center that many people use in West University Place is about to close, and it's causing some people to rethink what they're doing with recyclables. But the city says the change is needed.

The city of West U, which operates this recycling center, estimates more than 100 people use the facility a week. The most traffic is usually during the holidays. But after 16 and a half years, the signs are up advising customers the end is near.

RecyclExpress on Dincans near Westpark is set to officially close at noon January 2, and residents are upset.

"I just fill up my car and come over and it's just three steps away," customer Mary Greenwood said.

"If I throw something out like a can or piece of glass in regular trash, I feel guilty. I think it's important to do for the environment and for energy conservation," customer Douglas Mata said.

For many, West U's RecyclExpress has been on their round of errands for years: pull up, unload and head out. It's so popular it was overflowing yesterday. But January 2, it's closing.

"We got to a point where we were providing a redundant service and subsidizing a service that wasn't in our taxpayer base," West U Public Works Director Chris Peifer said.

And Peifer says the center has been costing the city at least $150,000 a year over the last two, and it was about to cost roughly an addition $180,000. Add that to the fact that West U already has curbside recycling and it just doesn't make sense.

"It was just a matter of how much we can do for areas outside of West U," Peifer said.

He directs people to the next closest city of Houston facility at 5900 Westpark and Renwick, which for Kristin Moran means less frequent trips and a little more accumulation at home.

"We're kind of disappointed, we'll miss it," Moran said.

The city of West U says the majority of customers -- 70 percent -- are non-West U residents. They were able to shift people around so no jobs were impacted.

Find Jessica on Facebook at ABC13JessicaWilley or on Twitter at @jwilleyabc13

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