A green waste recycling program could be coming soon to Flower Mound.

Flower Mound Town Council on Dec. 4 approved direction for town staff on implementing a pilot program measure for green waste collection.

The town’s current solid waste provider is Republic Services, which would be the entity responsible for the collection of green waste.

The details

Council had three options to consider. Two of the options involved implementing a pilot program, and the third option provided an estimate to fully implement a townwide program.

Green waste is decomposable plant materials, including brush, leaves, grass, weeds and other vegetation, according to a presentation from Assistant Town Manager Tommy Dalton. A green waste recycling program would involve residents placing their green waste into bags, which can be purchased at local retail stores. Waste collection would be picked up on a resident’s normal collection day.

Diving in deeper

Under a pilot program, the first option would have the town pay Republic Services $65,000 to conduct a green-waste pilot program for weekly collection on one route per day for 60 days. Under the second option, which council gave its direction to town staff to explore, Republic Services can absorb the $65,000 cost if the town approves a modification to the franchise agreement to include a fee to commercial customers that overfill their containers of $45 per overloaded container per service day.

A full program would have Republic Services implement a green-waste program beginning within 60 days of approval to run until the end of the current agreement with the following changes to the franchise agreement:
  • Implement overage charges to commercial customers that overfill their containers.
  • Charge $2.50 per month, per resident.
  • Increase the annual Consumption Price Index adjustment from 2.6% to 4% to cover cost increases Republic Services is experiencing because of the current financial conditions.
Jeri Harwell, municipal services manager at Republic Services, discussed how the program would work in her presentation to council. Residents on the routes selected for the pilot program would receive a letter notifying them of the program. They would not be required to participate. Residents would then be asked for feedback on the program, and their input would be given to staff and council. Harwell then broke down costs and other specifics of the program to council, and took questions after her presentation.

The background

The recycling program has long been an initiative of the town’s Environmental Conservation Commission, who has sought council feedback and direction on this topic since at least 2011, according to a council agenda memo. Over that timeline, town officials have asked about resident interest in a recycling program through the town’s resident survey in 2009, 2011 and 2019.

The 2019 survey did not reveal overwhelming support for a recycling program for green waste, as 17% of respondents saw the program as essential, while 22% saw it as "very important." Thirty-four percent found the program as "somewhat important," and 27% saw it as "not at all important."