Accepting bids on a new way of recycling trash in Houston is confusing opponents and the city at the same time.  Groups like the Texas Campaign for the Environment say the current recycling approach is better than anything now being considered.  Program Director Melanie Scruggs says it's hard to anticipate what might happen.

“The solid waste department is working on expanding the existing recycling program,” Scruggs says.  “They're actually investing in technology that will measure the participation rates by neighborhood, so that we can do better education.”

Scruggs says it's like the mayor's office and the Houston Solid Waste Department are operating on separate tracks.  She says she's not getting clear message of support or opposition from city hall.

She the companies submitting the bids are trying to frame this as green, renewable technology.

“We do not think that waste burning is renewable technology,” she says, “because it competes with recycling and waste reduction and composting.”