Houston/ Weather & Environment
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Published on May 10, 2024
Houston Enhances Yard Waste Collection: Residents Can Now Use Any Biodegradable BagsSource: Unsplash/ Nareeta Martin

Houston residents are in for a treat when it comes to taking out the trash. The city's Solid Waste Management Department is rolling out a slew of changes to yard waste collection, making it easier to keep lawns spotless without a fuss.

The Mayor of Houston, John Whitmire, along with the City Council, have given the green light to updates that loosen up the rules around how residents can set out their yard waste for pickup. No longer shackled to city-approved bags only, homeowners can now flex their green-fingered muscles using any 100% biodegradable, or compostable bag, that passes muster with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D6400, or EN 13432 standards, according to a city press release.

There's room for DIY solutions, too, like using personal reusable containers (keep the city-issued carts for something else, folks) or bundling up twigs and branches neatly into manageable four-foot bundles. But keep it light – nothing over 50 lbs.

Getting in on the yard waste collection action is a breeze. Line up your bio-bags or bundles by the curb on your scheduled garbage day (but hey, keep them 3 feet clear of your trash cans,) and you're golden. Just remember, the garbage crew won't touch your yard treasures if they're cozying up to trash, paper, or plastic, and if you've hired a pro to pretty up your backyard, they've got to tidy up their own mess.

These updates are more than just window dressing. Department Director Mark Wilfalk says they're built on solid feedback from Houston’s finest – its residents and civic groups. They're all about making yard cleanup less of a chore and more part of the flow of a city that's greener and leaner. And while you might have to wait for the truck on the odd delay day, it seems the city's making sure that when it comes to waste - less is more and easier is better.