Houston Matters

A Closer Look At The Storm Debris Collection Process In One Houston Neighborhood

News 88.7’s Gail Delaughter talks with Houston Matters about the efforts in one Houston neighborhood to clean up storm debris.

Garbage and debris pile up outside of homes damaged from flooding.

Driving around Greater Houston in recent days, you’ve surely seen the debris piles. Heaped at the curbs of many homes and businesses, residents are cleaning out their flood-damaged properties.

You’ll see soggy furniture, appliances, stripped-out sheetrock, and countless other belongings destroyed by the murky floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey. And then multiply those contents by the thousands of homes affected by the storm and you can’t help but wonder where all this trash will go – and how?

Mayor Sylvester Turner says he’s making debris collection a priority throughout the city, but he doesn’t know how long that’ll take.

“What I’ve said is that we will operate with the highest degree of urgency, that we will expand our capacity, trucks, contracts,” he says.

San Antonio has sent contractors to Houston to assist with the effort, and the cities of Austin and Dallas plan to join in as well. With the additional help, the mayor says Houston’s landfills will have no problem accommodating it all.

“One thing about Houston, you know, we’re a big city we have capabilities other cities do not have,” he says.

The flood damaged 126,000 homes. Houston’s solid waste department says it’ll take on average one large garbage truck per household to remove all the debris.

To learn more about efforts to clean up debris in one particular neighborhood, we talk with News 88.7’s Gail Delaughter, who’s been covering this story. She recently talked with a family in southeast Houston that’s trying to clean out their flooded house. And she talked with a supervisor with the city’s Solid Waste Department who’s working the neighborhood.

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