Posts tagged “recycling

How businesses and apartments can recycle, too

By Caroline Ask, Environmental Compliance & Recycling Manager

Just about everyone recognizes that recycling and appropriate sustainability habits are vital to our well-being as a community. That’s why the City of College Station promotes and implements relevant practices, including providing low-cost recycling services for as many of our residents as possible.

While our community loves the recycling collection services the city has in our single-family residential areas, we don’t currently offer these services to businesses and multi-family dwellings such as apartments.

But that doesn’t mean your business or apartment complex doesn’t have recycling options. You can still commission services from private recycling businesses that are franchised to collect here.

The goal of the city’s recycling program is to decrease the amount of waste that enters the landfill by diverting eligible materials for recycling. We recycle efficiently to keep contamination at a minimum. And not all waste is contaminated, despite what it may seem.

Recycling contamination refers to non-recyclable materials or garbage that ends up in the recycling system. Materials may be non-recyclable because of a lack of market value, the unavailability of adequate processing infrastructure, or something as simple as residual food particles – such as greasy pizza boxes.

For a recycling program to function properly, residents must take precautions to minimize contamination. Our Solid Waste Division recently conducted a yearlong feasibility study that identified a high rate of recycling contamination as one of our most significant challenges.

In most instances, tenants relocate recyclables from their apartment units to a complex-wide collection bin, which is typically placed next to a solid waste dumpster. Unfortunately, some tenants seem to think the recycling bin is just another place to put their garbage. That makes it significantly more difficult to identify the source of contamination or even illegal dumping practices at communal containers.

Our study found that centralized recycling collection at apartments leads to materials that are so highly contaminated that they can only be hauled to the landfill. Subsequently, door-to-door collections where the generating resident could be identified and informed would be the only effective means for a successful multi-family program. High resident turnover in multi-family complexes complicates the process even more.

We must overcome many formidable hurdles before we can provide city-wide recycling for apartments and other multi-family residences in an economical, efficient way. We are always striving to find better ways to encourage responsible sustainability practices and improve the valued services we provide.


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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Never miss your waste collection day again

By Caroline Ask, Environmental Compliance & Recycling Manager

How often have you been leisurely enjoying your morning coffee when you suddenly hear a large truck rumbling down your street?

You instantly know what it means — it’s your solid waste or recycling collection day, and you forgot to place your bin at the curb line.

Most of the time, College Station residents do an exceptional job of helping our collections run smoothly, but now it’s even easier with our improved free mobile app, which is called College Station Curbside. It replaces the outdated MyWaste/Recycle Coach app.

College Station Curbside’s straightforward, uncomplicated design makes staying informed about solid waste and recycling collection almost effortless. You can quickly find the garbage, recycling, and bulk/brush pickup collection schedule specific to your address and set the app to remind you of your collection days.

If you don’t have an Apple or Android smartphone, you can use our online My Schedule tool. Through My Schedule, you can sign up to receive waste collection reminders by email, phone, or text message. You can also print or download the schedule into your iCal, Google, or Microsoft Outlook calendar.

You’ll never again forget to put out your garbage, recycling, or bulk/brush items.

And you can enjoy that steaming hot cup of coffee in peace.




About the Blogger

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

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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.


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


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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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 26)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, April 26. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:12 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

5:18 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • CSISD Agreement: The inter-local agreement is for the College Station Independent School District’s cost participation in the reconstruction of Holleman Drive from North Dowling Road to Rock Prairie Road West. The traffic impact of the new River Bend Elementary led to the addition of a traffic signal and pavement, and utility relocations. CSISD will reimburse the city up to $395,500.

6:18 p.m.

Automated Metering Infrastructure

The council voted unanimously to move forward with the implementation of Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for the city’s electric utility but to defer the transition to AMI for water.  The process will take about three years to complete. Water will continue to install AMI-ready meters for future AMI implementation.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:44 p.m.

Regional Mobility Authority

The council unanimously directed the mayor to submit a letter of support to Brazos County regarding the creation of a Regional Mobility Authority (RMA), a county-wide independent government agency focused on regional transportation problems such as congestion and travel times. Nine RMAs already have been created across the state.

The RMA would work with the local Texas Department of Transportation district. While it would not have taxing authority, it would have eminent domain powers.

The RMA would have to be authorized by the Brazos County Commission, then a petition would be submitted to the Texas Transportation Commission for consideration. If the TTC issues a minute order, the county would create an RMA board consisting of directors appointed by the county commission and a presiding officer appointed by the governor.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:45 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:54 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:58 p.m.

International Firefighters Day

The mayor recognized May 4 as International Firefighters Day

7:10 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army Capt. David M. Fraser as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 25-year-old Houston native died Nov. 26, 2006 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Weston Salanty expressed concerns about roadway improvements needed in some areas of the city.
  • Hugh Stearns spoke about his recommendations for the city to better communicate and interact with residents and neighborhood groups.

7:11 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An annual agreement not-to-exceed $125,000 with the Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association for officiating services for city athletic leagues, programs, and tournaments.
  • A $346,260.81 contract with Jamail & Smith Construction for various facilities corrective maintenance services.
  • An inter-local agreement with the College Station Independent School District for cost participation in the city’s Holleman Drive South Widening Project. CSISD will reimburse up to $395,500 for costs of the deceleration lane, traffic signal, and utility relocations related to the new River Bend Elementary School.
  • A $312,000 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for design and construction phase services for Phase 2 of the Northeast Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Phase 2 Project.
  • A 171,469 contract with C. F. McDonald Electric for the Municipal Court/Traffic Control Center Backup Generator Project.
  • A resolution authorizing a license agreement with Thomas and Stephanie Adams for the encroachment of part of an underground pool structure in the Pebble Creek subdivision.
  • A lease amendment with JAR Capital Investments extending the term for two years for space at 511 University Dr. East.
  • The second reading of a franchise agreement with Premier Metal Buyers for the collection of recyclables from businesses and multi-family locations.
  • The second reading of a franchise agreement with Pronto Services for the collection of recyclables from businesses and multi-family locations.

7:51 p.m.

Summitt Crossing Phases 4-6 Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a request to rezone about 36 acres from Planned Development District to Townhouse near the intersection of Buena Vista and Summit Crossing Lane. Councilman Bob Brick and Councilwoman Linda Harvell voted against the motion.

The change allows for Phases 4-6 of the Summit Crossing development. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:57 p.m.

Summitt Crossing Multi-Family Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to approve a request to rezone about 12 acres from Planned Development District to Multi-Family near the intersection of Summit Crossing Lane and Harvey Road. Councilman Brick and Councilwoman Harvell voted against the motion.

The change allows for development. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Amendment to Food Park Conditional Use Permit

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the conditional use permit for the Wayside Food Park in Northgate, eliminating the requirement for certified peace officers.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:14 p.m.

West College Station Annexation

The council voted unanimously to annex about 65 acres near Rock Prairie Road West, Holleman Drive South, and North Graham Road. The council conducted a pair of public hearings on the annexation in March.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:27 p.m.

Certificates of Obligation

The council voted unanimously to authorize the issuance of up to $55 million in certificates of obligation to fund various capital projects, Including streets, parks, land for a future fire station, city hall design, information technology, and electric, water, and wastewater system improvements. The council approved the projects as part of the FY18 budget.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:34 p.m.

Police Facility Construction Manager at Risk

The council voted unanimously to approve J.T. Vaughn Construction as the construction manager at risk for the College Station Police Headquarters project.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:45 p.m.

RVP Board Appointment

The council postponed until the May 10 meeting making an appointment to fill an unexpired term as the city’s representative on the Research Valley Partnership board of directors. The term ends in June, but the appointee would be eligible to be reappointed for two additional three-year terms.

8:47 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:50 p.m.

The council wished Interim City Manager Chuck Gilman well in his new job with the San Jacinto River Authority. Gilman’s final day with the city is Friday. Gilman has been with the city for a decade, also serving as deputy city manager, public works director, and capital projects director.

Best wishes, Chuck — and thank you for your service!

8:50 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, May 10.


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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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 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, 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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4 ways to help curbside collections work to perfection


By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Let’s talk trash!  More specifically, how and when to dispose of it to avoid costly code violations.

1. Bag your trash.

How you dispose of your trash makes a difference. It may be easier to toss the items in the city-provided container, but that isn’t the way to go.  If you don’t bag your trash, it can fly all over your neighborhood when the garbage truck picks it up.

2. Use the right container.

Household trash NEVER goes in the blue recycling containers. That’s been a huge problem in recent months as residents grow accustomed to our Single-Stream Recycling program.

3. Know the collection schedule.

Many new residents don’t know when their trash, recyclables or bulky items are scheduled to be collected. To find out, call Public Works at 979-764-3690 or go to the Sanitation website. For the collection schedule, enter your street name and it will show your garbage day. If you go to the Single-Stream Recycling website, you can find your recycling week by clicking on the Collection Roster and looking for your street.

If you miss a collection day, call Public Works and ask to be put on the missed list. The Sanitation Division may not get to your container that day, but they will issue a work order to ensure your trash or bulky items get picked up.

You also should avoid placing bulky items out more than 48 hours before your scheduled collection.

4. Bring in your containers. 

Now that you know your collection day, you’ll need to remember to bring in your container in after it’s been collected. It may seem easier to leave the container at the curb so you won’t have to put it out every week, but that’s a code violation.

Some homeowners associations have deed restrictions requiring you to screen your container, but the city doesn’t. We don’t enforce deed restrictions, either, so please keep the container next to your house.

MyWaste App

The MyWaste app puts the sanitation schedule and other information at your fingertips. You can even set an alert to remind you of your trash day. Click here or go to your favorite app store to download.

It’s the responsibility of the Code Enforcement Division to work with you to help make College Station a healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing place to live.  Please contact us at 979-764-6363 or if you have questions.


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.


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