Houston to resume recycling service Nov. 13

Oct. 25, 2017Houston Chronicle

Houstonians stockpiling cardboard and aluminum cans, rejoice: the city will resume curbside recycling service next month.

Recycling service has been suspended since Aug. 30, when city waste crews dropped all efforts other than weekly trash pickup to focus on removing the thousands of piles of debris resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

Residents wondering whether their service will start the week of Nov. 13 – the “B” schedule – or Nov. 20 – the “A” schedule – can visit the Solid Waste Management Department’s website and click the “City Services Info Viewer” link.

Of course, many homeowners have just elected to leave their overflowing green bins on the street indefinitely and will arrive home some November evening to an empty container.

Homeowners are reminded not to place any of Harvey debris in their 96-gallon green recycling bins and also to keep glass out of the containers.

Pending the selection of a new recycling processer – an effort that was scrapped earlier this summer after council members questioned the procurement process – residents are stuck taking glass to any of the city’s six neighborhood drop-off sites or the Westpark recycling center.

Councilwoman Ellen Cohen said her office got a lot of calls from residents asking why their green bins had been left untouched by city crews, and already had seen exuberant responses from constituents immediately after Mayor Sylvester Turner’s announcement Wednesday that the service would resume.

“I really want to thank people all over for their patience. Clearly there were places in Houston that were not affected by Harvey, but those people, their recycling was not being picked up; everyone was affected,” Cohen said. “It also says a lot for Houston that we really do support recycling, because when it wasn’t being picked up we were getting calls saying, ‘When is it going to be picked up?’ ”

The city’s junk waste and yard waste collection schedules will remain suspended as city crews continue to work on storm debris removal.

City crews and scores of private contractors have trucked more than 1.2 million cubic yards of Harvey debris to area landfills, according to city data, and have substantially completed the first of three planned passes to pick up storm waste from thousands of flood victims’ lawns.

That has freed up city recycling trucks to resume normal collection schedules.