Public Works

New sanitation schedules and rates start in July

By Heather Woolwine, Recycling & Environmental Compliance Manager

College Station’s continued growth has led to significant changes to the city’s sanitation and recycling collection schedules, as well as the first increase in sanitation rates since 2006. The changes all go into effect in July.

The new schedule will reduce the number of missed collections that frequently occur when residents place their trash and recycling bins too close to each other or another obstruction. When that happens, our drivers can’t empty the bins safely or efficiently.

Your recycling day will change, while your trash and brush/bulky day may change. Go to the following link to identify the collection days for your neighborhood:

Solid Waste Collection Rates

No one likes to pay more for anything, but no business can operate efficiently if its revenues don’t keep up with costs.  It’s been 12 years since the last adjustment in residential solid waste collection fees, and the old rates no longer recover the cost of providing the outstanding level of service you’ve come to expect.

Our population today is about 118,000, almost 50 percent more than in 2006 when we had just under 79,000 residents. The new rates remain competitive with other Texas cities our size.

The new residential rate, which was approved by the city council on June 14, is rising from $14.40 to $16.00 per month. Beginning in October 2019, the rate will be indexed to the annual change in the consumer price index, which measures inflation.

Go to the following link for a detailed breakdown of the new residential and commercial collection fees:

Here are some helpful reminders regarding trash and recycling collection:

Bin Placement

Garbage and recycling containers must be placed at the curb in front of your residence before 8 a.m. on your designated collection day. Remember to place the bins with both wheels pointed toward the curb, and the lids should be closed at all times.

Because our sanitation and recycling trucks use an automated arm to lift and empty the bins, don’t place your containers closer than four feet from an obstruction that would prevent collection, such as other containers, mailboxes, cars or trees. Other obstructions that can result in your bin not being emptied include placing it under low-hanging tree limbs, cables, or electrical wires, or close to water or gas meters.

City ordinance requires you to remove your garbage and recycling containers from the curb within 12 hours of collection.

Trash Collection

Garbage should be bagged, tied and securely stored in your container. If you pile bags or trash on top or around your container, the sanitation truck’s automated arm won’t be able to collect it. Items too large to fit in your garbage container should be neatly placed on the curb for bulk collection.

Brush and Bulk Collection

Bulk collection is for items too big to fit in your garbage container, such as furniture, non-Freon containing household appliances, etc. It does not include bags of household garbage.

Please consider donating your gently used items before placing them on the curb. Some non-profit organizations will even come to your house to pick them up.

Brush collection includes tree limbs, shrubs, and herbaceous or woody plants and vines. Brush should be cut into a maximum of 8-foot lengths. Brush and bulk items should be divided into separate piles and neatly stacked within three feet of the curb in front of your home.

Recyclables

Citizens with blue, single-stream recycling containers collected by Brazos Valley Recycling are encouraged to review the list of acceptable items printed on top of each container. Only clean items should be put in the container, and anything not on the list should be put in the garbage instead.

Shredded paper is the only recyclable that should be placed in clear plastic bags. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment.

MyWaste App        

Don’t forget to download our free MyWaste app from your favorite app store. It’s the easiest way to keep up with your collection schedule and receive updates from the Sanitation Department.

For more information, contact me at hwoolwine@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Heather Woolwine has been with the City of College Station for 13 years and has been recycling and environmental compliance manager since 2014. She served as the city’s recycling coordinator from 2007-14. Heather attended the Environmental Training Institute at the University of Texas-Arlington and is licensed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.


 

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Public works enhances our community’s quality of life

By Wally Urrutia, Sanitation Superintendent

Most of us take for granted that our trash will be picked up on time, our drinking water will be clean, and our public facilities will be adequately maintained. But College Station’s public works infrastructure, facilities, and services wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated professionals of the Public Works Department.

Efficient and professional public works programs manage our water, sewer, streets, traffic operations, stormwater drainage, fleet maintenance, public building maintenance, recycling and solid waste collection. These services are vital to the safety, health and high quality of life we enjoy in our growing community.

This week marks the 58th annual National Public Works Week, which celebrates the thousands of men and women across the United States and Canada who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services known as public works. This year’s theme is “The Power of Public Works,” which celebrates the impact public works has on modern civilization.

National Accreditation

Did you know that College Station is the only city of our size (80,000-150,000 population) in Texas to be nationally accredited in both Public Works and Water Services? Administered by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the accreditation program recognizes agencies that go beyond the requirements of established industry practices.

The College Station Public Works Department consists of eight divisions — Capital Projects, Facility Maintenance, Streets Maintenance, Drainage Maintenance, Traffic Operations, Sanitation, Fleet Services and Administration. Our 124 employees deliver sanitation services and plan, build and maintain the infrastructure that allows our community to grow and prosper.

About Public Works Week

Since 1960, the APWA has sponsored National Public Works Week as a way for its 28,000 members to educate the public on the importance of public works in their daily lives. The occasion is marked each year with scores of resolutions and proclamations from mayors, governors, and presidents.

As we observe National Public Works Week, we honor and thank the employees of our Public Works and Water Services departments for their professionalism, hard work and the high level of dedicated service they provide to our community every day.

Mayor Karl Mooney proclaimed this Public Works Week in College Station at the May 14 city council meeting:

(L-R) Mark Mcauliffe, Troy Rother, Raquel Gonzales, Susan Monnat, Mayor Karl Mooney, Donald Harmon, Martin Mcgehee, Jason Best.

Read the Proclamation

 


About the Blogger

Sanitation Superintendent Wally Urrutia is in his 31st year with the City of College Station. He was named Solid Waste Manager of the Year in 2016 by the Texas Public Works Association.


 

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4 ways to fight illegal dumping and keep our city clean

By Debbie Stickles, Engineering Programs Specialist

You’ve seen the eyesores.

The piles of garbage, tires, paint cans, and appliances that someone carelessly dumped by the side of the road or in an open field. The practice is illegal, but it still happens far too often, despite the threat of substantial fines and even jail time.

Many of the dumped items are not just a blight on the landscape — they can be hazardous, too.

Illegal dumping is the disposal of a large quantity of rubbish or large items on either public or private property. Due to the low visibility created by high brush lines, local streams typically take the brunt of the mess. A few discarded shopping carts or a heap of tires can pollute waterways, increase flood hazards, and destroy wildlife habitats.

Here are four ways you can help us be friendlier to our environment and keep our community clean:

1. Household Hazardous Waste Collection.

When it comes to recycling or disposing of medications, computers, televisions, gasoline, oils pesticides, herbicides, antifreeze, paint, batteries and more, Brazos Valley residents should take advantage of free Household Hazardous Waste Collection events every spring and fall. The next one is Saturday, Oct. 21 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Texas A&M University Services Building located on Harvey Road east of Veterans Parks & Athletic Complex.

2. Recycling and solid waste programs.

The City of College Station’s single-stream recycling program allows you to place your recyclables in one container. The only item you need to bag in clear plastic is shredded paper. Visit cstx.gov/recycle to learn about the city’s solid waste and recycling programs.

Other resources may include private companies which can recycle or dispose of certain types of waste such as tires or construction materials. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality offers a list of statewide resources for recycling or special waste disposal.

3. Clean-up events and stewardship organizations.

The City of College Station offers several volunteer programs to get you directly involved in helping our environment:

  • Adopt-A-Street enhances the appearance of our community by beautifying and maintaining a street or section of a street.
  • Adopt-A-Greenway helps residents and businesses play an active role in cleaning up and beautifying our open spaces, creeks and multi-use paths/trails. The City of College Station partners with Keep Brazos Beautiful to coordinate the program.
  • Only Rain down the Drain Campaign encourages individuals or groups to place decals on neighborhood storm drain inlets that read “Don’t Dump. Drains to River.

4. If you see it, report it!

If you come across illegally dumped materials or see someone dumping illegally, report it by contacting Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363 or codeenforcement@cstx.gov, or use the popular SeeClickFix mobile app.

 


About the Blogger

Debbie Stickles is starting her third year as the city’s engineering program specialist. She previously worked as an engineering specialist in the Railroad Commission of Texas’ Oil & Gas Division from 2014-15.  A native of Carrizo Springs, Debbie received a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2013.


 

Photo Copyright: antpkr / 123RF Stock Photo

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Improvements along FM2818 to boost safety, mobility

By James Robertson, Assistant Traffic Engineer

It’s not exactly a secret that traffic flow remains a dominant issue as College Station continues to expand.

One of our most heavily congested corridors is FM2818 (Harvey Mitchell Parkway) from Holleman Drive to George Bush Drive. Consequently, the surging traffic volume has led to a significant increase in crashes in that area.

The problem isn’t being ignored. Far from it.

College Station is working closely with other local agencies to reduce these incidents in both the long and short-term.

Long-term mitigation by the Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Texas Department of Transportation includes widening FM2818 and restricting turning movements at driveways. The City of College Station will join TxDOT – which maintains many of our roads, including 2818 – to conduct a public meeting about the widening project later this year.

In the short term, the College Station Public Works Department has pursued lower-cost operational changes that achieve three primary objectives:

  1. Decrease crashes at signalized intersections by installing protected-only green left-turn indications.
  2. Decrease left-turn lane waiting at FM2818 and Holleman by increasing green time for FM2818 left-turns.
  3. Decrease travel time along FM2818 between Bush and Holleman by increasing the green time for FM2818.

To achieve these objectives, our traffic signal technicians have worked with the city’s traffic engineering staff to implement and calibrate new signal timing plans. We’ve installed protected-only green left-turn arrows at the intersection of FM2818 with Holleman, Bush and Luther Drives.

Using Bluetooth readers installed as part of our Intelligent Transportation System Master Plan, we’ve seen substantial improvements in travel times along FM2818 between Bush and Holleman.

We measured peak morning and evening travel times on Sept. 7 – before the timings were installed – and again on Sept. 27 after installation. The following graphs show that cars are moving faster and the duration of slow traffic is shorter. In fact, the drive from Welsh to F&B Road at 8 a.m. was almost 6½ minutes faster. The drive from F&B to Holleman at 5:45 p.m. was about 3½ minutes better.

Evening Peak Data

Morning Peak Data

Calibrating the new signal timing plans has taken a couple of weeks, and we appreciate the public’s patience. Some of the changes we tried also caused problems in the morning peak time. We worked quickly to get those issues resolved.

The Traffic Engineering Division will continue to monitor travel times along this corridor and work with our partner agencies to improve mobility along this corridor and the entire system.

 


About the Blogger

James Robertson is in his fourth year as College Station’s assistant traffic engineer. He also did extensive graduate work with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute while attending Texas A&M, where he earned master’s (2011) and doctorate (2015) degrees in civil engineering with an emphasis on transportation. James received bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from Michigan State (2008) and psychology from Notre Dame (2007).


 

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Public Works connects us, enhances our quality of life

By Wally Urrutia, Sanitation Superintendent

Most of us take for granted that our trash will be picked up on time, our drinking water will be clean, and our public facilities will be adequately maintained. But College Station’s public works infrastructure, facilities, and services wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated professionals of the Public Works Department.

Efficient and professional public works programs manage our water, sewer, streets, traffic operations, storm water drainage, fleet maintenance, public building maintenance, recycling and solid waste collection. These services are vital for the safety, health and high quality of life we enjoy in our growing community.

This week marks the 57th annual National Public Works Week, which celebrates the thousands of men and women across the United States and Canada who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services known as public works. This year’s theme is “Public Works Connects Us,” which celebrates the role public works plays in connecting our communities with our streets, roads, bridges, and public transportation.

National Accreditation

Did you know that College Station is the only city of our size (80,000-150,000 population) in Texas with nationally accredited Public Works and Water Services departments? Administered by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the accreditation program recognizes agencies that go beyond the requirements of established industry practices.

The College Station Public Works Department consists of eight divisions — Capital Projects, Facility Maintenance, Streets Maintenance, Drainage Maintenance, Traffic Operations, Sanitation, Fleet Services and Administration. Our 123 employees deliver sanitation services and plan, build and maintain the infrastructure that allows our community to grow and prosper.

About Public Works Week

Since 1960, the APWA has sponsored National Public Works Week as a way for its 28,000 members to educate the public on the importance of public works in their daily lives. The occasion is marked each year with scores of resolutions and proclamations from mayors, governors, and presidents.

As we observe National Public Works Week, we honor and thank the employees of our Public Works and Water Services departments for their professionalism, hard work and the high level of dedicated service they provide to our community every day.

 


About the Blogger

Sanitation Superintendent Wally Urrutia is in his 30th year with the City of College Station. He was named Solid Waste Manager of the Year in 2016 by the Texas Public Works Association.


 

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Hanover honored on golden anniversary of University Drive underpass

Ret. Gen. Joe Hanover, 99, says the underpass has changed little in 50 years. Photo by Henry Mayo.

Gen. Hanover speaks at the ceremonial opening on the University Drive underpass at Wellborn Road on March 21, 1967. Photo: Texas A&M Cushing Library.

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

A half-century ago today, the complexion of the Northgate area was forever altered with the ceremonial opening of the underpass at University Drive and Wellborn Road, the first of its kind in Brazos County.

The College Station City Council today honored the man who supervised the project for the Texas Highway Department, Ret. Gen. Joe Hanover. Councilwoman Blanche Brick read this proclamation before the council’s Transportation and Mobility Committee meeting.

Click here for the complete story about the underpass project from Monday’s edition of The Eagle.

Now 99 years old, Hanover is just a year younger that the Texas Highway Department, which is observing its 100th birthday.

Here’s some more photos:

Photo: Texas A&M Cushing Library.

Councilwoman Blanche Brick reads the proclamation to Gen. Hanover.

Gen. Hanover poses with city staff and members of the Transportation and Mobility Committee.

 


SocolAbout the Author

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. He’s a native of Breckenridge.


 

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