Recycling company, EcoHub, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Houston, hoping to have a court compel the city to produce public documents they are withholding.

EcoHub’s involvement with the city goes back to the previous administration. Turner’s predecessor, Annise Parker won a $1 million Bloomberg grant to move forward with the development of a “one-bin-for-all” project.

EcoHub says their “One Bin” innovative recycling process would divert 90% of waste from landfills, save the city money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and possibly make the city money.

Under Parker, EcoHub participated in the bidding process for the contract and won. The contract wasn’t finalized before she left office and Turner didn’t feel the need to honor it. He reopened the bidding process for a recycling contract and with the new process underway, EcoHub claimed that the request for proposals was so narrowly tailored that it excluded them from the process, “effectively destroying EcoHub’s chances in Houston.”

Feeling slighted, EcoHub partnered with investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino and challenged the city. Dolcefino, on behalf of the company, requested numerous documents from the city, “hoping to learn more about why Mayor Turner preferred a costlier, but clearly less effective, recycling program as compared to One Bin.

Now EcoHub and Dolcefino say that instead of complying with the Act, the city has stalled at every turn leaving them with few options other than suing the city. They want the information they requested “months ago,” and are petitioning the court to review the city’s claims that some of them are exempt from the public information act.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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