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GPJC CIP TOPIC: Recycling by Plants, Cities, County, and Individuals

David Clark, U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary showed how he stops bringing home restaurants plastic or Styrofoam food containers from leftover meals when eating out. He takes his own reusable take-home container to restaurants to bring leftovers home. If more people would take their own reusable containers when eating out this can save lots in the waste landfills. (Photo Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. – Thursday, June 2, 2022 at the Alvin Baggett Community Building, 1302 Keene Street, the first in-person Community-Industry Partnership (CIP) took place since the COVID-19 Pandemic forced meetings to take place via Zoom. The meeting was hosted by Hosted by Houston Cement.

Facilitator Diane Sheridan opened the meeting, and introduced Glenda Squyres as the Secretary, and said that CIP celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2021. Its formation began in October 2010 with a team of community members and plant representatives who developed ground rules and selected the core membership.

Sheridan explained the following topics:

• Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. (EPA)

• When we refer to recycling, we often mean avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle.

• Recycle is the last step before disposal in the waste hierarchy.

Plant members, CIP cities, individuals, and the Harris County representatives attending presented what they do in recycling and what they recycle.

The largest discussion came from individuals about the common household items they recycle. To name a few: plastic bags, reusing and refilling water bottles, glass jars, magazines, newspaper, using old tee shirts for rags, aluminum cans, brown paper bags, yogurt containers, leftover take home food containers from eating out, reusing emptied plastic food containers from grocery stores and clean aluminum foil.

CIP community members are: Ula Amos, Juan Flores, Jr., Dorothie Harding, Martha Hilton, Cruz Hinojosa, Nadine Huff, Glenda Lauderdale, Rubie Nelson, LaGloria Sephus, Glenda Squyres, Lon Squyres, Almatha C. Taylor, Carol Thompson and Una J. Topps.

Galena Park plant members are: Chevron Galena Park Terminal, Houston Cement Co., Kinder Morgan Galena Park Terminal, Kinder Morgan Galena Park Splitter, Shell Lubricants and Targa Resources.

Pasadena plant members are: Gulf Coast Authority, LyondellBasell Houston Refinery and Chevron Pasadena Refinery.

William Nieves, Assistant Production Manager for Houston Cement Co. L.P. gave an explanation about the company. He said their main function is to import cement and unload it into the two terminals they have. The cement is unloaded into storage silos and then loaded into trucks belonging to concrete company trucks for making concrete. At their east terminal, they have the largest cement unloader in the world, handling 110,000 tons; their west terminal can store 80,000 tons. They supply cement to the Houston-Harris County area and to south east Texas shipping out 2.1 million tons last year.

Nieves said recently they had an accidental hydraulic oil spill into the ship channel but due to their quick action it was able to be contained and cleaned up quickly. It was investigated by the EPA, Harris County Environmental department and the US Coast Guard.

Marcus Lopez of Houston Cement who oversaw the oil spill cleanup explained how his team quickly stopped the leak, contained it and then removed the oil from the channel before any harm was done.

Linda Jamail, Community Liaison for Rep. Ana Hernandez and Sandra Zamarripa, Community Liaison for Commissioner Adrian Garcia were present.

The next meeting is August 4 at 6pm. Contact facilitator Diane Sheridan to sign up for meeting notices, 281-326-5253 or dbsfacilitator@gmail.com. She can also take your RSVP for meetings.

Stay up-to-date with the CAER Online system that’s managed by the East Harris County Manufacturers’ Association (EHCMA). It informs residents in the member cities of the Houston Ship Channel Region about operational updates and events in member facilities. Incidents about noise, odors, smoke, flaring, pipelines, railcars, tanker trucks and more. Visit ehcma.org/caeronline and download the app on your cellphone.

CIP member Cruz Hinojosa extended an invitation to everyone and encouraged the public to come to the Green Market Saturday, June 18th from 9am to 1pm. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be available at the Galena Park High School parking lot, 1000 Keene Street in Galena Park. A free $10 voucher per adult will be given for buying fruit or vegetables. For more information call: 834-434-1591.

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