Solid Waste study approved

Could this be the precursor to a garbage fee? Maybe.

As Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department faces ongoing challenges in providing basic services, such as consistent garbage collection and recycling pickup, City Council has promised to give the department a helping hand.

Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a 12-month, $176,600 consulting contract with Houston-based Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company to study Solid Waste and make recommendations for how the department can improve services.

Ahead of the vote, Council Member Amy Peck said she hoped the firm made recommendations beyond just saying the city needs a garbage fee, which has been a much-debate topic in Houston.

Other council members agreed something more needed to be done to help the department.

“There’s no way we can keep operating Solid Waste like we’ve been operating it,” Council Member Sallie Alcorn said.

Mayor John Whitmire said the study would be comprehensive and include metrics on efficiencies, cost effectiveness and Solid Waste’s overall performance.

“(It’s) really to see how they’re doing so well with so little, quite frankly,” Whitmire said, adding that the study would also seek to amplify the department’s improvements as well.

See here for a recent discussion of the garbage fee issue. Yes, this study should so more than just lay the groundwork for a fee, and if there are lessons to be learned from how Solid Waste operates that can help the rest of the city, so much the better. But let’s be clear, the city needs more revenue, there are a very limited number of ways it can generate it, and we are an outlier in not having a trash fee, which would free up some amount of general revenue dollars for things like paying for that firefighter settlement. You do the math. Houston Landing has more.

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One Response to Solid Waste study approved

  1. David fagan says:

    Yeah, what he said!

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