Greetings from Texas

Texas. Best known for The Alamo, having summer almost all year around, the barbeque, the slogan “everything is bigger in Texas.”

Texas. Best known for the Alamo, the barbeque, the slogan “everything is bigger in Texas” and the good city of Houston.

Being born and raised in Houston, Texas there is a lot that I grew up with. Known as the Energy Capital of the World, Houston is the current center of oil and gas industry. This also means that Houston is where petroleum-based plastics are born. I was constantly surrounded by big name companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips, DowDuPont, and many others.

Growing up, I have been able to take advantage of what the industry has to offer. For example, I attended a summer program at University of Houston that was hosted by ExxonMobil. We solved math and science problems while also enjoying activities that were related to those subjects. We made liquid nitrogen ice-cream and used solar powered ovens to make smores.  All this involvement with the math and science subjects is what brought me closer to wanting to pursue a major in engineering.

“Everything is bigger in Texas”. Especially during the pandemic, people are going out shopping to big-box and wholesale stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. Restaurants around here are selling a lot more take-out food. Everything is just going by the boat load.

Now what is going on with recycling here since the pandemic? There really isn’t much media or news sources that state that cities in Texas have shut down their recycling centers. Though some small cities in the San Antonio are have cut back on their recycling as of in June. (San Antonio Express News).

Here in Houston, it still seems like everything is going as normal. We continue to collect recyclables and put them into our recycling bin, my family has been fairly good about recycling what we can and throwing out what we cannot recycle or reuse. Being home for a couple months now, it doesn’t seem like we ever paused collecting recycling. Though their precautions are to make sure they wash their hands once done handling the recycling bin.

While looking up recycling changes on the Texas Disposal Systems site, I did find that they have some tips about keeping everyone safe during recycling and waste handling.

I cannot imagine how Covid-19 has changed the life of recycling center workers; perhaps they are taking even more extreme measures to ensure that all the workers are safe. The impact that the novel coronavirus has taken on the people of Houston has been a lot, from what I have seen this summer. We are less active, less social, and more cautious. As a consequence, more and more plastics are being used to facilitate the new normal.

I am glad that recycling centers here are still up and running though. It provides me peace of mind knowing that we aren’t just creating plastic with nowhere to go.

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