Public Works

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


Video: Waste & Recycling Workers Week

This is Waste and Recycling Workers Week! We offer our sincere thanks to the hard-working men and women who keep our neighborhoods and streets safe and clean. Your dedication and tireless work are valued and appreciated!

– Public Communications Office

 


Public works boosts our community’s quality of life

By Wally Urrutia, Solid Waste Manager

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 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 60th 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 Rhythm of Public Works,” which makes us think about our community as a symphony of essential services, working in concert to create a great place to live. Every city has a rhythm, a heartbeat that reflects its essence and tempo of life.

National Accreditation

Did you know that College Station is the only city in Texas to be nationally accredited in both public works and water services? Administered by the American Public Works Association, the accreditation program recognizes agencies that go beyond the requirements of established industry practices.

The College Station Public Works Department consists of eight divisions — Facility Maintenance, Streets, Drainage and Irrigation Maintenance, Traffic Operations, Solid Waste/Recycling, Fleet Services, and Administration. Our employees deliver essential services 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 30,000 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

Solid Waste Division Manager Wally Urrutia is in his 33rd 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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