Houston Recycling Collaboration launches first Cyclyx '10 to 90' program

The takeback program, launched in Kingwood, Texas, is designed to expand material collection to nearly all plastic types.

Kingwood, Texas, residents recycle plastic scrap through Cyclyx' 10 to 90 program in December
Residents of Kingwood, Texas, successfully recycled 3,900 pounds of plastics in the first weekend of Cyclyx' 10 to 90 program, conducted in partnership with the Houston Recycling Collaboration.
Photo courtesy of Cyclyx

Cyclyx International, a consortium-based postuse plastic innovation company headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has launched its first Cyclyx "10 to 90" takeback program in partnership with the Houston Recycling Collaboration (HRC).

Cyclyx says the program is designed to expand the materials accepted for recycling in the community of Kingwood, Texas, to include nearly all plastics. The program began Dec. 10, and the company says 3,900 pounds of plastic scrap were collected in the first weekend.

“Partnerships like this are key in moving toward a circular economy that reduces the impact of plastic waste on our communities, our bayous and our city,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says. “We’re sending a message—with ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell, top leaders in the energy and chemical industries, along with innovative companies like Cyclyx and our established recycling partner, FCC Environmental Services—Houston is dedicated to impacting change and setting the example for communities around the country.”

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Cyclyx says Kingwood is home to more than 81,000 residents across 23,000 households. To participate in the program, Kingwood residents are required to place their plastic scrap in plastic trash or shopping bags—which will also be recycled—and bring them to the Kingwood Recycling Center for collection. Cyclyx says plastics accepted at the center will include all numbered plastics from one to seven, such as shampoo bottles, takeout containers and dry cleaner bags, as well as unnumbered plastics, such as bubble wrap, polystyrene (PS) foam and plastic wrap.

“As a resident of Kingwood myself, I’m very excited that Kingwood was selected as the location to pilot this program,” says Dave Martin, council member and mayor pro-tem for District E. “Recycling can make a huge positive impact for sustainability, and I sincerely hope Kingwood residents will take advantage of this program, which aims to make recycling plastics easier than ever before.”

The HRC says it aims to significantly increase Houston’s plastics recycling rate by expanding both mechanical and advanced recycling infrastructure, including technology upgrades at FCC’s material recovery facility (MRF) to be able to mechanically sort flexible packaging; ExxonMobil’s large-scale advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas; a planned plastics sorting and preprocessing facility from Cyclyx; and planned recycling facilities by Netherlands-based LyondellBasell.

Plastic collected in Kingwood will be sent to the new Cyclyx Circularity Center, the company says, which, upon its expected startup in the Houston area in 2024, will be able to chemically characterize these new sources of mixed scrap plastics and prepare them for use in various recycling technologies.

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Cyclyx says takeback programs like the one in Kingwood will be key to collecting plastic materials that are considered difficult to recycle, increasing the number of plastics that go into a recycling pathway instead of to a landfill. The HRC says it intends to incorporate learnings from the program rollout in Kingwood into building out similar programs in other areas in Houston, including at schools, businesses and retail establishments.

Kingwood residents can learn more about the new program on the City of Houston’s website.

“We are ecstatic to be offering this expanded plastic recycling capability to the residents of Kingwood,” Cyclyx CEO Joe Vaillancourt says. “We’ve spent a lot of time and effort on increasing the available recycling infrastructure in the area with our recently announced Cyclyx Circularity Center with ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell. The rollout of this collection program in Kingwood is an important step in increasing the supply of plastic waste that will feed into that facility, and it will be followed in the coming year by additional takeback programs in other neighborhoods, schools and retail establishments throughout the Houston area.”

The "10 to 90" program refers to Cyclyx' goal of increasing the recyclability of plastic from 10 percent to 90 percent.

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