Recycling facility center of Heights debate

HOUSTON The Danas sisters are learning about recycling at a young age. Their mom brings them along for every trip to the Heights Recycling Center.

"It's good for the environment," said Kendra Danas, a frequent recylcer. "It's more earth friendly, and they need to learn that you can't just throw all your plastics and everything away."

But the city of Houston is once again considering selling this piece of property, located on Center Street just off the bustling Washington Avenue corridor.

Super Neighborhood 22 President Jane West told council members on Tuesday that selling an active recycling center won't solve the city's budget woes.

"To sell it now, when it's a fairly low price because the market is still low, when it can reasonably be expected to appreciate even in a year or two, seems short-sighted," West said. "Because it's not going to fill the entire deficit "

It was less than a year ago that residents successfully battled efforts to sell the land. At that time, Mayor Bill White's administration wanted to sell the land to the next door neighbors.

"This is the first I heard of it, so yeah, I'm pretty shocked," recycler Ricky O'Neill said.

The city insists a sale is far from certain.

"Just to put some rumors to rest, there has not been a decision made at his point," Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck said.

But even for recycling supporters, it wouldn't be a total surprise if the city decides to cash in.

"Oh yea, it's very valuable, this area of The Heights is very prominent, very valuable," Danas said.

The last time the city appraised the property, it was evaluated at around $2 million. It wasn't immediately clear whether City Council has already hired appraisers to determine the value of the land or whether they'll first listen to residents' concerns.

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