Public Works

Video: Dendy Brown’s Remarkable Comeback

On Sept. 20, 2018, city employee Harold “Dendy” Brown was struck by a car while collecting a container on his solid waste route.

Some 25 months after the accident, Dendy returned to work in the Solid Waste Division after enduring 11 surgeries. The likelihood of an injured worker returning after a six-month absence is about 5 percent. Returning after two years is extremely rare.

This film tells the story of Dendy’s courageous comeback.

 

– Public Communications Office

 


What’s the tall candy cane thing on Highway 6?

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If you drive down State Highway 6 south of Rock Prairie Road, you may be intrigued by the tall red and white pole south of the Baylor Scott & White Hospital. 

No, it isn’t a lighthouse, and we’re not expecting a flood —although that wouldn’t surprise anyone in 2020. It’s not a giant candy cane or a stray element of Christmas in the Park, either.  

The giant candy cane is supporting the crane being used to construct College Station’s third water tower, which will provide water pressure, storage, and fire protection to the city’s east side. The 190-foot tall structure will store three million gallons — 12.5 million tons — of water in its bowl. 

The crane support is red and white for FAA purposes, but the “candy cane” will be removed when construction is finished in the spring of 2022.

If you’re curious about how water towers work, here’s a brief explanation:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after serving two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


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Are you still not convinced recycling is essential?

By Caroline Ask, Environmental Compliance & Recycling Manager

People typically think of recycling as tossing cardboard boxes or plastic bottles in their blue collection bin and calling it a day. But recycling is much more complicated than that.

Recycling is a critical link in the manufacturing supply chain and a vital component of our economy. The recycling sector has an annual economic impact of $110 billion and directly employs more than 164,000 people while diverting 194.1 billion pounds of materials from landfills.

Are you still not convinced recycling is essential?

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the U.S. steel industry relies on scrap metal as its largest raw material input. About 70% of steel and stainless steel produced in the U.S. is made from ferrous and stainless scrap supplied by recyclers.

More than 75% of American paper mills depend on recovered fiber from recycling operations for their daily production needs. About 58% of tissue mill feedstock is recovered from recycling.

Before we place aluminum cans in our garbage bin instead of recycling them, we should recognize that more than 50% of our aluminum comes from recycled materials, including the aluminum placed in single-stream containers.

Here’s how you can become a recycling expert instead of a wish-cycler:

  • Research approved, recyclable commodities for your area by consulting and downloading the City of College Station’s Household Waste and Recycling Guide.
  • Remember that quality is just as important as quantity, so make sure the materials you place in your bin are empty, unbagged, and clean.
  • The recycling symbol and resin number do NOT mean the item is always recyclable — it corresponds to the item’s material. Our recycling program only accepts plastics types 1 and 2.

The 2015 Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling estimated that 43% of the total tons generated and disposed of in Texas could’ve been recycled. Material disposal versus recycling may not be practical due to a lack of recycling infrastructure, contamination, access to end markets, or a need for additional public education and outreach.

Here’s how you can bin less and recycle more:

  • Reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials in our recycling stream by placing only accepted items in your bin.
  • Take your single-use grocery bags to the recycling kiosks at your grocery store.
  • Avoid purchasing items with excessive packaging or purchase items approved in our recycling program.
  • Donate gently used clothing, children’s toys, extra paint, and other reusable commodities to local non-profit organizations.
  • In general, try to limit your consumption of single-use materials.

For more information on your local recycling program or for specific recycling and disposal questions, visit cstx.gov/recycle or call 979-764-3690.

 


About the Blogger 

Carolina Ask is in her third year with the city and her first as the environmental compliance and recycling manager. She previously served as an engineering program specialist and environmental inspector. Caroline previously held environmental health positions at Texas A&M and Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Bioenvironmental Sciences from A&M in 2012.


 

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Household Hazardous Waste event set for Saturday

By Caroline Ask, Environmental Compliance & Recycling Manager

Area residents are invited to participate in the fall household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Texas A&M University General Services Building. The entrance to the facility is on Harvey Road east of Veterans Park and Athletic Complex.

The free event is open to Brazos Valley residents and offers safe disposal of a wide range of household hazardous wastes. Improper disposal — such as pouring cleaning agents down a storm inlet, on the ground, or into your recycling or garbage containers — poses severe health and safety risks to not only the environment but to solid waste, wastewater, and other workers.

Accepted items include household quantities of paint, pesticides, herbicides, oil and oil filters, cleaning agents, antifreeze, fluorescent bulbs, and car batteries. Items not accepted are tires, commercial or industrial waste, PCBs, radioactive materials, explosives, household trash, and biological waste.

Please bring your household materials in the original containers with labels intact — and don’t mix products. You should also label materials that aren’t in the original packages and secure products so they won’t tip or leak. Products should be in the trunk or bed of your vehicle, not in the passenger area.

You must stay in your vehicle with the windows rolled-up while staff members unload your items. If you need to communicate with staffers, you must wear a face covering.

Additional event information and a complete list of accepted materials can be found on the Twin Oaks Landfill website.

 


About the Blogger

Carolina Ask is in her third year with the city and her first as the environmental compliance and recycling manager. She previously served as an engineering program specialist and environmental inspector. Caroline previously held environmental health positions at Texas A&M and Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Bioenvironmental Sciences from A&M in 2012.


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Video: Why are there cameras on traffic signal arms?

In this episode of “Actually…,” City Traffic Engineer Troy Rother says people often often mistake the purpose of the cameras mounted on top of traffic signal mast arms. The cameras simply detect vehicles at the intersection and give them a green light so they don’t have to wait as long.

– Public Communications Office


Video: Replacing skateboards with drainage technology

In this episode of “Actually…,” Drainage Division Manager Marshall Wallace says thanks to new technology, city employees don’t have to use skateboards anymore to enter the pipes and inspect or repair our vital drainage infrastructure.

– Public Communications Office