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 email@example.com, 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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Almost everyone has heard of the successful Adopt-A-Highway program. Roadway signs across the country mark sections that are maintained faithfully by local community organizations and clubs. The program started in Texas in the early 1980s and now has a presence in such faraway places as Japan and New Zealand.
The City of College Station took that popular concept and developed the Adopt-A-Greenway program, which encourages volunteers from area neighborhoods, churches, businesses and other groups to help maintain the city’s greenway system. All that’s required is a two-year commitment to remove trash from a designated greenway at least twice a year. Volunteers will be recognized on the city’s website and on signs along their adopted greenway.