Posts tagged “single-stream recycling

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

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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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New single-stream recycling program starts in January

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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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