Tag Archives: Solid Waste Management Department

Debris collection time

From the inbox: Today, the City of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) will initiate the first pass of storm debris collection for single-family homes and neighborhoods affected by the Derecho Storm on Thursday, May 16, 2024. Several city departments, … Continue reading

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Mayor Whitmire unveils his first budget

Here ya go. Amid Houston’s strained financial outlook, Mayor John Whitmire unveiled a $6.7 billion budget proposal on Tuesday, announcing he does not intend to raise taxes or significantly cut city services during the fiscal year starting in July. The … Continue reading

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What could it have cost for the firefighters?

City Controller Chris Hollins throws out some numbers and kicks up a fuss. Houston Controller Chris Hollins faced fierce criticism from firefighters union president Marty Lancton, after estimating that equalizing past pay for Houston firefighters with their peers in other … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Still waiting on details for paying the firefighters

A lot of the same stuff we’ve heard before here, but a little bit more details. Houston Mayor John Whitmire detailed his last three months as the fourth-largest city’s top boss and outlined some of his ongoing projects in a … Continue reading

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Controller Hollins puts firefighter settlement tab at up to $1.3 billion

That’s once you factor in interest payments over the life of the bonds that will be issued to cover this. Houston Mayor John Whitmire’s proposed settlement with the firefighters union could cost significantly more than previously advertised, City Controller Chris … Continue reading

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We return to the question of “how will we pay for the firefighter agreement” question

Gonna keep asking it until we get a full answer. Mayor John Whitmire’s administration is weighing all options, including hiking the city’s property tax rate and charging residents a garbage collection fee, to help pay for its landmark settlement with … Continue reading

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We return once again to the subject of a garbage fee

Maybe this is the time it happens. Maybe not. Who can say? For many residents, Houston’s unreliable garbage collection is a familiar issue — and it’s one that even the city’s newly elected mayor apparently must confront. In his inaugural … Continue reading

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Time once again to recycle your Christmas tree

Speaking of annual traditions… Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) encourages residents to recycle live Christmas trees after the holidays. This holiday season, assist the City of Houston in diverting landfill waste by repurposing your live Christmas tree into mulch … Continue reading

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City settles dumping complaint with Justice Department

Good. Houston will not face punishment after settling a Justice Department probe into whether the city’s system of responding to illegal dumping calls violated the Civil Rights Act by disregarding Black and Latino neighborhoods. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s administration reached a three-year voluntary resolution with … Continue reading

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“One Clean Houston”

Hope this works. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday unveiled a $17.8 million illegal dumping initiative aimed at expediting cleanups, increasing surveillance and enforcement, and prioritizing areas hardest hit by Houston’s roadside trash problem. Standing beside an illegal dumpsite strewn with … Continue reading

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It’s time to recycle your Christmas tree

If you’re in the city of Houston and you want your tree to get mulched, here’s how to do it. Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) encourages residents to recycle live Christmas trees after the holidays. The holiday season is … Continue reading

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Houston will have a bond on the ballot

First I’d heard of this, but it should be pretty routine. Houston will ask voters in November to approve a $478 million bond program to buy fire and police vehicles, renovate or replace city facilities and give the city’s animal … Continue reading

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DOJ investigating discrimination claims against Houston for response to illegal dumping

I look forward to seeing what this finds. Huey German-Wilson and her Trinity Gardens and Houston Gardens neighbors kept finding tires, medical waste and other trash in their streets. So they took charge. They sought to log each instance with the city’s 311 … Continue reading

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City passes its budget

Not too much drama. Houston’s $5.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year includes a big jump in revenue from water bills, raises for all city employees and the largest unspent reserves in years. City Council voted 15-2 to adopt … Continue reading

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It’s city of Houston budget time again

That federal COVID relief money continues to be very nice. Once again relying on federal money, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposed $5.7 billion budget for next year would pay for raises for all city employees, offer tax relief to seniors and … Continue reading

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We don’t have enough garbage truck drivers

We don’t pay them enough, it would seem. For the last few months, Juan Sorto and his neighbors have looked toward the curb on Thursdays and asked themselves the same uneasy question: Did the garbage trucks come? Last week, they had. … Continue reading

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Why your recycling hasn’t been picked up yet

Short answer: Staffing shortages, exacerbated by COVID. A staffing shortage in Houston’s solid waste management department is causing delayed and missed recycling pickups across the city, the agency confirmed. The Solid Waste Management Department is trying to fill 45 vacancies … Continue reading

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A broader look at the Houston project to track COVID in wastewater

The DMN tells me things I did not know about my current favorite public works project. The [Houston] health department is conducting the wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 in partnership with researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine. Wastewater … Continue reading

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Yes, omicron was found in the wastewater

In case you missed it. Houston has detected the omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 in eight of its wastewater treatment facilities, confirming the new strain is spreading in the city. A Harris County resident was the first … Continue reading

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Our wastewater treatment plant is ready for omicron

One small bit of reassurance in these uncertain times. The Houston Health Department is testing the city’s wastewater for the new COVID variant, omicron, which experts say could soon be found in the U.S. The department tests the city’s wastewater weekly for COVID strains. … Continue reading

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Get ready to compost

I hope this expands in the near future. The city launched a composting pilot program Wednesday, opening three sites where residents can drop off compost-friendly waste that otherwise would wind up in a landfill. The hope is the program will … Continue reading

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Yes, the wastewater is also pointing to a COVID surge

In case you were wondering. There is more COVID-19 in the city’s wastewater system now than at any time in the pandemic, city officials said Wednesday, the latest warning that the virus is spreading at an unprecedented rate. Dr. David … Continue reading

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City’s budget passes

There was a little bit of drama, but nothing too big. Houston’s City Council voted Wednesday to approve a $5.1 billion budget for the next fiscal year that relies heavily on a massive infusion of federal aid to close a … Continue reading

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The COVID wastewater tracking project has been a big success

This has been one of the best things to come out of this interminable and miserable COVID experience. Lauren Stadler’s environmental engineering students always pose the same question at the beginning of a semester: “What happens to water in the … Continue reading

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Finally, a bit of good COVID news

Naturally, it comes from the wastewater. Researchers who study sewage to monitor the pandemic are detecting less virus in Houston than they have in months, a positive signal that could indicate a forthcoming drop in new COVID-19 cases, doctors said. … Continue reading

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We really can track COVID-19 through wastewater

This is terrific news. Researchers with the city, Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine were able to sniff out a potential second outbreak of COVID-19 at a homeless shelter in downtown Houston earlier this year by looking down its … Continue reading

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Council adopts recycling bin fee

From last week: Beginning in July, Houston residents will find a new $1.14 fee on their monthly water bills for leasing the city’s garbage and recycling bins. A divided city council voted 8-6, with three members absent, to pass the … Continue reading

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Christmas tree recycling 2019

For your last act of Christmas 2019, here’s how to dispose of your tree. Twenty-five recycling centers in the Houston area will take your Christmas trees. All city recycling facilities will take trees through Jan. 25. All you have to … Continue reading

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Curbside glass recycling is back

Hooray! Houston residents can resume putting glass in their curbside recycling bins, city officials said Thursday at the opening of a recycling facility in northeast Houston. The new plant, outfitted with advanced technology including a glass cleanup system, is operated … Continue reading

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It’s tree-recycling time

Here’s what you need to know. You have nearly three weeks to do this. Don’t miss out.

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Trash fee to pay for Prop B?

Hard pass. Houston City Councilman Dwight Boykins on Thursday proposed charging property owners a monthly garbage collection fee to finance raises for firefighters while avoiding job cuts for other city staff. Under the proposal, most Houston homeowners would be charged … Continue reading

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The long range plan for municipal waste

Something you probably missed (I know I did) from recent City Council action. Last week Houston City Council voted to hire a company that will help local officials create and adopt a long-range waste and recycling plan. This wasn’t all … Continue reading

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Curbside recycling will resume November 13

Hooray! Houstonians stockpiling cardboard and aluminum cans, rejoice: the city will resume curbside recycling service next month. Recycling service has been suspended since Aug. 30, when city waste crews dropped all efforts other than weekly trash pickup to focus on … Continue reading

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