Posts tagged “recycling

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

 


20 ways to celebrate the 50th Earth Day

By Caroline Ask, Environmental Compliance & Recycling Manager

In 1970, 20 million people mobilized to call for greater protections for our planet. The event became the world’s first Earth Day.

Earth Day has since become the largest secular observance in the world. More than 190 countries and a billion people celebrate it as a day to encourage positive changes in behavior that benefit our environment.

Since Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we offer these creative and innovative ways to do your part:

  1. Take a walk to identify native plant species in your area — or simply enjoy your surroundings.
  2. Craft a nature collage from items found on your walk.
  3. Compost your food waste.
  4. Avoid using herbicides or pesticides before rain events.
  5. Clean out your closet, but instead of throwing your old clothes away, donate them.
  6. Check out NASA’s Earth Day 2020: 50th Anniversary Toolkit.
  7. Calculate your carbon footprint.
  8. Research how to start a backyard garden and ways to support helpful insects and pollinators.
  9. When shopping, use reusable bags. However, some retailers are recommending the use of plastic bags until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.
  10. Identify the types of accepted recyclables in College Station.
  11. Learn how to dispose of household hazardous waste Our next collection event is Oct. 24.
  12. Follow the Brazos Valley WaterSmart network to use efficient watering techniques for your lawn.
  13. Join a virtual Earth Day
  14. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
  15. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  16. Construct a rainwater harvesting barrel for landscape irrigation.
  17. Repurpose jars and other containers as beverage glasses or small bowls.
  18. Serve a fun Earth Day-inspired dessert such as dirt pudding to teach your kids about the importance of soil.
  19. Plant a tree.
  20. Tag us with your Earth Day activities using the hashtag #BVEarthDay2020.

Happy Earth Day!

 


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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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (April 9)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular teleconference meetings on Thursday, April 9. It’s not the official minutes.

The live audio is streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to zoom.us/j/174248177, or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 174-248-177.

If you want to address the council about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

5:17 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

5:23 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

No items from the regular meeting’s consent agenda were pulled for discussion.

6:02 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

The council received an update on the city’s operations under the COVID-19 Declaration of Disaster and the pandemic’s effects on our community. 

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:06 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports, Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting starts after a short break.

6:13 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:19 p.m.

National Public Health Week

Mayor Mooney recognized the Brazos County Health Department as part of National Public Health Week.

6:21 p.m.

National Library Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed April 19-25 as National Library Week.

6:24 p.m.

National Community Development Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed April 13-19 as National Community Development Week.

6:38 p.m.

Retiring Police Chief Recognized

Mayor Mooney and many others recognized retiring College Station Police Chief Scott McCollum, who served the CSPD for 35 years. He has been chief since 2014. A reception will be held at a later date.

6:40 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one spoke during hear visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

6:44 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Annual water meter purchases estimated at $174,427.77 from Aqua Metric Sales Company. 4.3. An ordinance removing parking on the alley south of the 200 block of Patricia Street and north of the 200 block of University Drive.
  • A contract not to exceed $710,000 with McCord Engineering for the design, construction, and project management of the Spring Creek Substation T3 Ring Bus Addition.
  • An amendment to the contract with Emergicon to add the Texas Ambulance Supplemental Payment Program.
  • A $155,229.70 agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the city’s participation in the cost of acquiring the right of way and adjusting utilities for the improvements to FM 2818 from north of University Drive to Wellborn Road.
  • A $1.52 million contract with Kieschnick General Contractors for the East Side Sewer Service Project.
  • Authorized the police chief to execute documents necessary for the release of grant funds from the Office of the Governor Homeland Security Division for police bomb squad equipment and from the Office of The Governor Justice Assistance Grant Program for additional bomb squad equipment and police patrol bicycles.
  • Directed publication of notice of intention to issue certificates of obligation, series 2020.

7:10 p.m.

Recycling Agreement

The council voted 5-1 to approve a $4.54 million, five-year residential recycling collection agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling for delivery, storage of inventory, biweekly collections, contamination disposal, and maintenance of containers. Councilwoman Linda Harvell voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:27 p.m.

Concrete Flatwork Contract

The council voted unanimously to approve a not-to-exceed $2.87 million contract with Larry Young Paving for annual concrete curb, gutter and flatwork installation to maintain city infrastructure.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Brazos County Transportation Vision

The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution supporting the Brazos County Transportation Vision to plan, develop, and operate a quality transportation system to promote safety, quality of life, and economic opportunity. See page 85 of the agenda packet for the complete vision statement.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:42 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again by teleconference on Thursday, April 23.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets Thursday by teleconference for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to zoom.us/j/174248177, or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 174-248-177.

If you want to address the council about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. COVID-19 Update: In the workshop, the council will receive an update on the city’s actions under the COVID-19 Declaration of Disaster and the pandemic’s effects on our community.
  2. FM 2818 Improvements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $155,000 agreement with TxDOT for the city’s participation in acquiring right of way and adjusting utilities for the widening of FM 2818 from Wellborn Road to University Drive.
  3. 2020 Certificates of Obligation: The consent agenda also includes a resolution directing publication of notice of intention to issue Series 2020 Certificates of Obligation for capital projects related to streets, parks, public facilities, technology, and water and wastewater.
  4. Recycling Agreement: In the regular meeting, the council will consider a $4.54 million, five-year residential recycling collection agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling for delivery, storage of inventory, biweekly collections, contamination disposal, and maintenance of containers.
  5. Brazos County Transportation Vision: The council will consider a resolution supporting the Brazos County Transportation Vision to plan, develop, and operate a quality transportation system to promote safety, quality of life, and economic opportunity. See page 85 of the agenda packet for the complete vision statement.

Related Links:                                                           

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the 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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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.

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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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 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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4 ways to help curbside collections work to perfection

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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 codeenforcement@cstx.gov 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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5 ways you can make single-stream recycling work even better

BV_Recycling

By Heather Woolwine, Recycling and Environmental Compliance Manager

If you’re a homegrown, organic eatin’, treehuggin’ hippie like me, you’ll find a way to recycle no matter where you are. Our enthusiasm for recycling sometimes makes for cheeky comments from family and friends because, like most people, they prefer a realistic and reasonable level of convenience.

That’s where College Station’s new single-stream recycling program comes in.

Until we launched the program in January, residents sorted recyclables into 11-gallon clear plastic bags. Single-stream appeals to those who have never recycled because it’s easy and uses a large container, similar to your trash disposal.

The new program has already paid incredible dividends as recycling participation has increased from 69 percent in 2015 to 84 percent this year. We’ve also seen participation by businesses and apartments climb from 19 percent to 24 percent.

Better participation means much less garbage has been going to the landfill. How much less? Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Recycling chart

As the City of College Station’s recycling and environmental compliance manager, I get lots of questions from residents about how the program works and how they can make it even better.

Here are five simple ways to do your part:

1. Avoid Contamination.

Make sure you are only placing clean, acceptable items in your blue recycling container. While something may be recyclable, that form of recycling may not be available in this area. Any food container that has been visibly soiled with food or grease is not recyclable and should be put in the garbage. This list of acceptable items is also printed on top of your recycling container:

  • Aluminum/tin/steel cans.
  • Glass (all colors).
  • Plastics1and2Plastics (not bags) with No. 1 or No. 2 marked on them. If one of the symbols on the right isn’t on it, don’t recycle it.
  • Mixed/white paper (Post-It notes, index cards, file folders, colored paper).
  • Junk mail (staples and windowed envelopes are fine).
  • Newspaper and inserts.
  • Brown paper bags.
  • Phone books.
  • Flattened cardboard.
  • Shredded paper (must be placed in clear plastic bags).
  • Paperboard (such as cereal boxes and dairy/juice containers).

If it’s not listed, it’s not accepted as a recyclable and is considered garbage.

2. Items should be clean and free of debris.

Paper and cardboard recyclables must be dry and free of food debris, and caps from plastics should be removed and discarded. You should also rinse and clean discarded containers to keep your recycling container from getting sticky or smelly.

3. Don’t bag your recyclables, unless …

The only recyclable that should be bagged in clear plastic is shredded paper. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment. Consider recycling plastic bags or using reusable bags when you go to the store.

4. Pay attention to your collection schedule.

Unlike garbage collection, recycling is collected every other week. It’s also a good idea to have your container out early because yours may be picked up as early as 8 a.m. If you can’t remember your designated collection day, visit cstx.gov/recycle or download the free MyWaste app. If you have a missed collection, report it as soon as possible by emailing your street address to RecycleRequests@cstx.gov or by calling 979.764.6228.

5. Make sure your container is unobstructed.

Place your recycling and garbage container about four feet from any obstruction. Examples of obstructions include mailboxes, vehicles, and other containers. City ordinance requires your garbage and recycling containers be removed from the curb within 12 hours of collection.
 
Recycling options are also available for businesses and apartments. To learn more, go to cstx.gov/recycle or contact me at hwoolwine@cstx.gov or 979-764-6228.

Related Links

 


13600248_10210527460128279_3526848318137930649_nAbout the Author

Heather Woolwine has been with the City of College Station for 11 years and has been recycling and environmental compliance manager since 2014. She served as the city’s recycling coordinator from 2007-14. She 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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Podcast: Our first look at single-stream recycling numbers

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

College Station’s single-stream recycling program made its debut in January. Since then, we’ve all wanted to see the data. Has participation been good? Are citizens putting the right stuff in their blue bins, or are they fouling up the system by throwing bad stuff in the wrong container?

I’ve been waiting for that data, too. Podcast guest Heather Woolwine, College Station’s Recycling and Environmental Compliance Manager, shares her perspective on the ups and downs of the program’s first four months.

Podcast Archive

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to hear to the audio file from your system.

 


csf_jsocolAbout the Author

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his seventh 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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Moving out? Consider the options for your unwanted stuff

rolloff4

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

The end of each semester means many Texas A&M and Blinn students are graduating and preparing to move out of their apartments and houses. As part of the process, they discover they no longer need much of what they’ve accumulated through their college years.

For the City of College Station’s Code Enforcement Division, that can lead to problems.

Many apartment complexes don’t always order the large rectangular trash containers in time to accommodate the high volume of discarded items. When this happens, the tenant sometimes resorts to finding inappropriate places to dump their unwanted items, including commercial dumpsters behind businesses.

You may not realize that constitutes theft of service or illegal dumping, which are violations of city ordinance. After all, someone else is paying for service at that location. If we can track down the culprit, we’ll issue a costly citation that graduates certainly don’t need to deal with right now.

We’ve discovered that many of the discarded items could be recycled or reused. With that in mind, here’s a solution you may not have considered: Instead of illegally dumping your reusable stuff in someone else’s bin, how about donating it to your favorite charity?

Here’s a short list of local organizations that will accept household items, including furniture and food:

Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Accepts most household items.
405 West 28th St., Bryan (979-823-5300)

Brazos Valley Food Bank
Food donations may be dropped off weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
1514 Shiloh Ave., Bryan (979-779-3663)

Grace Bible Church’s The Big Giveaway
Accepts household items and furniture.
701 Anderson St., College Station (979-695-2000, ext. 111)

A&M Church of Christ’s iHouse Market
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ihouseaggieland@gmail.com to arrange pick-up or drop-off.

Project Unity
Accepts household items and furniture.
1400 Beck St., Bryan (979-774-6788)

Twin City Mission
Call 979-822-7511 to schedule pick-up of large items.
Drop-off Locations:
>> Second Chance 1, 803 Wellborn Road, College Station
>> Second Chance 2, 3808 Old College, Bryan
>> Alice’s Attic, 424 North Main, Bryan (979-822-2979)
Accepts household items and furniture.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ddkingau@gmail.com or 979-739-5582 to arrange drop-off or pick-up.

If you live in a residential single-family neighborhood, you can either put your items on the curb on your designated bulk day or take them to the Twin Oaks Landfill, which offers a free dumping service with your utility bill.

If you live in an apartment, you should dispose of your items in the roll-off bin provided by your complex. You also have the option to take them to the landfill.

Because of the additional volume of discarded items, it may take our hard-working sanitation workers longer than normal to complete their collection routes. We appreciate your patience!

For questions about Code Enforcement, call 979-764-6363 or visit us at cstx.gov/codeenforcement. For questions about sanitation services, call 979-764-3690.

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

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

Previous blogs by Julie Caler


 

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Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Security Camera Surveillance: In the workshop, the council will discuss stronger regulations for security cameras at businesses such as convenience stores.
  2. Creek Meadows Lift Station: The council will consider an agreement to increase the capacity of the Creek Meadows sewage lift station to serve the recently annexed Wellborn area.
  3. Automatic CPR Devices: The council will consider the purchase of automatic CPR devices for the city’s EMS units to provide better patient care.
  4. Trash Valet & Recycling Agreement: The council will consider the first of two readings of a franchise agreement that would allow Brazos Valley Recycling to collect recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  5. Parks & Recreation User Fees: The council will consider new user fees for Parks & Recreation facilities and programs, including increases for facility rentals, cemetery spaces, and some activities.

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New single-stream recycling program starts in January

SingleStreamRecycling

By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

The City of College Station’s new single-stream recycling program allows you to put your recyclables in one container. If you live in a single-family home, you’ll receive a blue 95-gallon recycling bin sometime in January — even if you didn’t participate in the old curbside program.

Collection by Brazos Valley Recycling begins on your designated day two weeks after you receive the new container.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Oct. 8)

College Station City Council

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Oct. 8. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:30 p.m.

The workshop has started.

The council took action on one item discussed in executive session. By a 7-0 vote, it approved an amendment to the Research Valley Partnership’s bylaws that permits elected officials to be appointed for additional terms or partial terms by their respective city councils or the commissioners court not to exceed their time as an elected official. 

5:34 p.m. (more…)


Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Recycling Update: The council will hear a workshop presentation about recycling collection and an update on city’s recent single-stream recycling pilot project. On the consent agenda, the council will consider a five-year, $840,283 contract and franchise agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling. Staff is not recommending a rate increase for customers.
  2. Student Government Association: The council will hear a presentation from Texas A&M’s student body president on the primary goals of the Student Government Association. The city and SGA are working together on a number of mutually beneficial endeavors.
  3. Science Park Agreement: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a 10-year, performance-based economic development agreement with the College Station Science Park. The strategy is to create additional shovel-ready sites to take advantage of A&M’s recent commercialization efforts.
  4. Outside Agency Funding: The council will consider funding agreements with the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, B-CS Chamber of Commerce, College Station Noon Lions Club, Aggieland Humane Society, B-CS Convention and Visitors Bureau, Keep Brazos Beautiful, the Research Valley Partnership and the Memorial for All Veterans of the Brazos Valley.
  5. Mobile Food Courts: After a public hearing, the council will consider allowing food vendors to develop short- and long-term mobile food courts through conditional use permits and the site planning process.

(more…)


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

gavel[1]This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 26. It’s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and can also be watched online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:30 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started. Councilman James Benham is absent tonight.

5:42 p.m. (more…)


Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

gavel[1]The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:  

  1. Recycling Program Update: The council will receive a workshop update on the city’s recycling program and possible areas for expansion.
  2. Renaming of Raintree Park: The council will consider changing the name of Raintree Park to Art and Myra Bright Park at the request of the neighborhood.
  3. Automated Metering Infrastructure: The council will hear a workshop presentation on the benefits and challenges of implementing automated metering for the city’s water and electric services.
  4. CSISD Natatorium: The council will consider approving a $61,739.92 reimbursement to the College Station Independent School District for use of the CSISD natatorium for city programs and activities.
  5. Hotel Tax Legislation: The council will consider a resolution expressing support for proposed state legislation to expand the use of hotel occupancy tax funds for the construction and operations of city-owned parks and recreational facilities.

(more…)


Recycle your used motor oil and filters the right way

Used Oil Recycling Center

For more than two decades, the City of College Station has operated an unmanned, always open, do-it-yourself recycling center for used motor oil and filters. When this public facility opened in the early 1990s behind the College Station Police Department, it was the only one of its kind in the area.

In its existence, the facility has collected more than 45,000 gallons of used motor oil. Regrettably, that’s not all that’s been poured into the collection tanks.

UsedOil
Since the center is unmanned, it’s become a go-to spot for illegal dumping and improper disposal of household hazardous wastes such as paints, mystery chemicals and acids. This misuse has created health and environmental hazards, not to mention unnecessary cleanup costs and a loss of revenue due to contaminated oil.

Since several area businesses now operate manned oil and filter recycling facilities, the city has decided to permanently close the Used Motor Oil/Filter Public Recycling Center on July 31.

Why is recycling oil important? (more…)


Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (Feb. 9)

8:56 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned. The council meets again on Feb. 23.

8:46 p.m.

Joint Neighborhood Parking Task Force

The council unanimously approved the formation of  a Joint Neighborhood Parking Task Force. The task force will consist of members of the city council and Planning and Zoning Commission. Councilmembers who will serve on the task force are Dave Ruesink, Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz.

8:44 p.m.

Ad Hoc Committee for Arts Council Relations

The council unanimously approved the creation an ad hoc committee to consider topics concerning the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, including the lease agreement for the Arts Council building, and the construction and use of the Wolf Pen Creek Festival Grounds. The subcommittee will consist of three council members and three members of the Arts Council Board of Directors. The subcommittee will be dissolved after completing its report. Councilmembers who will serve on the subcommittee are Julie Schultz, Katy-Marie Lyles and Nancy Berry.

8:39 p.m.

The regular meeting has adjourned. The council is now finishing up what was left of the workshop agenda.

(more…)


City Council Preview (Feb. 9)

 

Here’s a quick overview of some of the items the College Station City Council will be discussing at its workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 9. This blog is not a complete and official agenda.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. A live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and can also be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Police Department Update

Police Chief Jeff Capps will update the council on the state of the College Station Police Department, including a review of 2011 crime statistics.

Recycling Program Update

The council will receive an update on the city’s recycling program and will review previous internal studies along with possible options for the program.

Christmas at the Creek Report

The council will hear a post-event report on Christmas at the Creek, which changed locations and activities from previous years. The Parks and Recreation Department welcomed participation from many non-profit groups, businesses, the Arts Center and numerous churches. Wolf Pen Creek Park was heavily decorated and was a focal point for visitors beginning Thanksgiving weekend and continuing through New Year’s Day. The major activity nights were located at the Wolf Pen Creek Park complex on Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11. Participation was estimated at 20,000 people over the four days, compared to 7,000 who attended the 2010 event at Central Park. The primary costs are part of Parks and Recreation’s operating budget, but sponsors were solicited and secured to help offset expenses.

(more…)


10 Ways to Have a Merry Green Christmas

Consider practicing these 10 easy tips during and after this holiday season: 

During the holidays:

  1. If you are a late shopper (and who isn’t?), remember to buy green — look for recycled content, environmentally-friendly products such as a compost bin, Energy Star logos, local goods, membership to environmental organizations, or rechargeable batteries.
  2. Reuse gift bags, paper and old holiday cards as gift tags.
  3. Bring your own bags on shopping trips so shops won’t have to give you new ones with your purchases.  Make sure to tell the clerk that you have your own bags.
  4. Review the list of recyclables that College Station accepts at the curb and be sure to recycle. Recyclable items include newspaper, white paper, phone books, magazines,   No. 1 and No. 2 plastic containers, clear and brown glass bottles and jars, and aluminum cans.
  5. Review the Bryan / College Station Recycling Directory to recycle items such as cardboard and packaging materials.

(more…)


City Council Preview (Nov. 21)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering Monday, Nov. 21, at its workshop and regular meetings. This blog is not intended as a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the entire agenda packets.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Local Preference for Bids/Contracts

The council will consider a local preference policy in bid/contract awards on a case-by-case basis. The city can legally give preference to a bidder whose principal place of business is in College Station if the bid is within 3 percent of the lowest bid price. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t also Bryan for inclusion as local. The council must determine that the local bidder offers the best combination of price and additional economic development opportunities.

(more…)