Source of graph: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.
(p. A13) HOUSTON — While most large American cities have started ambitious recycling programs that have sharply reduced the amount of trash bound for landfills, Houston has not.
. . .
Landfill costs here are cheap. The city’s sprawling, no-zoning layout makes collection expensive, and there is little public support for the kind of effort it takes to sort glass, paper and plastics. And there appears to be even less for placing fees on excess trash.
“We have an independent streak that rebels against mandates or anything that seems trendy or hyped up,” said Mayor Bill White, . . .
For the full story, see:
ADAM B. ELLICK. “Houston Resists Recycling, and Independent Streak Is Cited.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., July 29, 2008): A13.
(Note: ellipses added.)