Posts tagged “recycling

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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