Trash in the time of Corona: Tips for spring cleaning

By Anna Dunbar

Please Note: The Solid Waste offices, Cobbs Recycling Center, and the landfill will be closed on Friday, April 10th.  Friday’s trash will be picked up EARLY on Wednesday, April 8.

An unexpected outcome of many folks remaining at home is an increase in need for trash services. Some folks are busily raking and bagging leaves and cleaning out their garages. I thought I’d provide a little information about how to meet the challenge of getting rid of stuff while meeting your desire to do so sustainably.

As you know, City of Waco Solid Waste Services is on the job collecting trash, recycling or yard waste at curbside. We ask that you leave those carts at the curb a little longer than usual. Due to long lines and a high number of customers being experienced at the city landfill, regular trash collection services could be delayed. Crews will be working late to catch up on curbside pick-up.

Should we miss your cart, we’ll make sure to implement an alternate pick-up day. If you’re a Monday route and we miss you, please leave your cans at the curb until Wednesday and we’ll make sure to get them.

Leaves and grass clippings should go into Paper Yard Bags purchased at grocery stores, hardware and garden stores. In Waco, please place a maximum of 20 yard waste paper bags at your curb during green weeks. There is a 40-pound limit for each yard waste bag. Paper yard bags are available at HEB, Ace Hardware, Sam’s Club, Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot. You can also buy the bags on-line at many of those stores as well as Amazon.

Don’t want to venture out to the store? Another option is to use one or two green yard carts. 95-gallon green yard carts are available at no extra charge by calling the city’s solid waste customer service center (254-299-2612). The carts can be delivered to your curbside. One or two green yard carts can be set at curbside during green weeks. Yard trimmings and leaves in the green cart should not be bagged.

OK, now what about that pile of brush trimmings? One brush pile will be collected during green weeks. The pile must be no bigger than four (4) feet long and four (4) feet high and four (4) feet wide.  Limbs must be no longer than four (4) feet and no larger than three (3) inches in diameter. 

Limbs should not be tied. Logs and Tree stumps will not be collected. Companies for hire must remove residential brush from the property and haul to a registered or permitted site for disposal or composting/mulching.

So, now let’s venture inside the house or garage and tackle that “junk area”! Everyone has the stash of stuff they’ve been meaning to get to. Here are some options:

The couch you’ve been meaning to get rid of? Some Waco non-profit organizations will accept furniture, including those with cloth. Some will not so it’s best to check. If the couch is not usable, Waco households are allowed bulky waste collection at curbside once per month. One couch is about the limit (one small pick-up truckload). So, you can set it at the curb for collection as trash.  Waco residents can also self-haul the couch to the Cobbs Citizen Convenience Center or Waco Landfill with proof of residency.

The now vintage television you used to watch Mad Men on is no longer working. If you are a Waco resident you can take it to the Cobbs Citizen Convenience Center (Recycling Center) for recycling with proof of residency. The Cobbs Center is operating during this time at its usual schedule of Tuesday through Saturday from 8 AM until 5 PM. As I said, a lot of folks are cleaning up, so please be prepared for a longer wait that usual.  If you are not a Waco resident, you can check with Best Buy about recycling options.

The Waco City Council District 1 clean-up is Saturday, April 25. Curbside bulky waste and brush collection will start at 7 AM on that day. Some things to remember – please call Keep Waco Beautiful at (254) 339-1077 in advance to register to participate in this district clean-up. You must live in City Council District 1. Then, move your unwanted items to the curb just prior to April 25 and it will get collected on that day. Some items to avoid – tires, concrete, dirt, liquids, and household hazardous waste such as paint.

Want to get out of your house and practice social distancing? WALK YOUR BLOCK! Grab a bag and some gloves and clean up litter while you walk your block! It’s fun and an easy activity that you can do to help keep our city clean! If you need materials, give Keep Waco Beautiful a call to pick up materials. Call Executive Director Ashley Millerd at (254)723-5714 to arrange for clean-up material pick-up.

Show your appreciation to solid waste collection workers with a socially distant “air high five” and a thumbs up. Our crews will get a kick out of the extra encouragement.

If you still have questions, please call Waco Solid Waste Services at (254) 299-2612. Due to a reduced staff and high call volume, there may be a wait so we ask for your patience. You can also email me at [email protected] and I will do my best to help find an answer to your question.

Thank you, Waco!

Anna Dunbar is the Solid Waste Administrator for the City of Waco Solid Waste Services. She is responsible for informing Waco residents and businesses about recycling and waste reduction opportunities as well as solid waste services in Waco. Her husband is a Baylor professor and her daughter is a Baylor University alum who works at Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. Anna is an active member of Keep Waco Beautiful and The Central Texas Audubon Society.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.

1 Comment

  1. Bruce Huff on April 10, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Great job Anna and Ashley and Ashley!

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