Dallas city council members on Wednesday approved a strategic plan to deal with the city's mounting trash problem.
The sweeping plan includes several controversial ideas including a ban on plastic shopping bags, recycling mandates for businesses and apartments and trash burning.
But the Zero Waste Plan, as it's called, is more like a list of goals for Dallas over the next decade. No timelines were set and the council will still hear from the public before authorizing specific components.
One of the most discussed components is a total ban on plastic bags.
Opponents argued such a measure could ultimately cost jobs. Food retailers believe recycling plastic bags is actually a better solution than banning them.
But most shoppers said they won't really mind the change.
"It's no difference to me. They changed from paper to plastic to save the Earth and now from plastic to something else to save the Earth," said Marie Munson.
Ed Young said he'd rather use paper bags anyway.
"I don't like to see those bags stabled to fences and in trees at White Rock Lake," he said.
Another waste-saving idea is to require businesses and all apartments to recycle at their own expense.
But the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas voiced concern because the additional costs for landlords will filter through with higher rents.
And since about half the residents in Dallas live in rental properties, even a small increase could be too much for some.
"So recycling is good but if it raises the rent that's another question," said Mose Espinosa, who lives in a Dallas apartment.
A third controversial component is burning trash, potentially for energy. Environmentalists fear that could create more problems with unclean emissions.
Many people do support the waste management master plan but argued they either didn't have a voice in it or complained that it needs to be implemented in a timelier manner.
The city council said over the next two years it will accept public input as it starts work on some of the goals.
KDFW FOX 4
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