Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The City of Dallas is far behind the curve when it comes to recycling, even by its own standards.

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Only about 20 percent of our waste goes to the city’s recycling center, a number that has remained stagnant since at least 2013, when the city set a goal of recycling 40 percent of our waste by 2020.

Even though the city set that goal, it allowed recycling for apartments and the commercial sector to be voluntary. But that could change soon.

A City Council committee on Monday decided to go forward with an ordinance that would require apartments and office buildings to offer recycling bins.

As much as 55 percent of the city’s population lives in multifamily properties. Residents of apartments, townhomes and condos create about 25 percent of the city’s rubbish. The commercial sector, including offices, restaurants and the construction industry, send the most waste to the McCommas Bluff Landfill, which could have as few as 35 years left at the rate it’s filling up.

“I hate being behind Austin on everything,” Councilman Mark Clayton said. “We say we can’t do it, and then they do and they’re still thriving.”

Apartment owners say the requirement could be difficult for some because the space for recycling bins and dumpsters isn’t available. Also, the cost of recycling would be passed onto residents.

The full City Council could take up a recycling ordinance in the next few months.