Recycling from households, businesses, schools, and similar sources is considered municipal solid waste (MSW) recycling. In 2019, Texans recycled over 12.9 million tons of MSW, including typical recyclables (such as paper, plastic, metal, and glass from homes and offices), organics (like yard trimmings and food waste), materials from construction and demolition activity, and other recyclables like batteries, electronics, tires, and paint. These 12.9 million tons of MSW recycling are equivalent to a recycling rate of 27.5%.
Additional recyclable materials are collected and processed from industrial sources like manufacturers, agriculture, and mining. In 2019, 6.9 million tons of industrial materials were reported as recycled, with most of this being scrap metals.
These recovered materials have value to manufacturers who use them as feedstock to create products and packaging. In 2019, recovered recyclable materials had an estimated market value of over $2.2 billion. Still, an estimated $1.9 billion worth of recyclables were not collected, and instead were disposed of in the state’s landfills.