City of Odessa no longer offering recycling services
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City of Odessa no longer offering recycling services

Aug 23, 2023

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ODESSA, Texas — The City of Odessa will no longer be providing recycling services. This comes as the city council unanimously rejected two contracts during Tuesday night's meeting regarding the topic – one for hauling services and one for recycling services with Butts Recycling Inc., or BRI.

Odessans can still recycle, but they will have to do it on their own and likely drive to BRI in Midland. Odessa Mayor Javier Joven said that he wishes the city could provide recycling services, but with budget cuts needed, it is not economically viable.

"The city services, the city staff, the city resources and the payroll and everything that it takes," said Mayor Joven. "It was a cost, it was insurmountable, and over the years millions of dollars had gone into this."

The city council decided against spending money on recycling services and instead to invest in other avenues.

"Responsibly, as Mayor, I'd say, basically, we’re going to get back to the basics, where we’re going to concentrate and invest in those areas of roads, infrastructure, water pipes, water and sewer, and police and fire, and our staff -- and that's another step closer of us going out there and finding that money so we can reinvest into those situations where the basic services and basic city function continues and operates at a better level than it has been for decades," said Mayor Joven.

Mayor Joven detailed that the contract with BRI would have been reliant on taxpayers.

"BRI is wanting a footprint in Odessa, Texas, they just want the taxpayer to be able to foot the bill for them, and then…pay them on a monthly basis to be able to do this, and so this [is] just not economically viable," said Mayor Joven. "If it were, then the business model of BRI is they would be investing in the facilities, the infrastructure, and the land and the pickup."

The actions made Tuesday night by the city council were consistent with what had already been done.

"This council had already demonstrated that we were not going to go in the direction of continued recyclables," said Mayor Joven. "This is why we reduced our footprint and brought back those containers where we weren't offering them in commercial all over the city, and we were turning those into commercial trash containers where we’ll make money. In fact, we’ll increase it by a quarter-million dollars of revenue…coming back to the city."

Mayor Joven also told me that a previous investment of $350,000 for a new recycling facility can now be reinvested into infrastructure and personnel. As for the current time machine recycling center in Odessa, Mayor Joven said that discussion regarding its services will happen when working on next year's budget.