City of Houston

Faced With Constant Garbage, Recycling Truck Breakdowns, Houston Augments Aging Fleet

Newly purchased trucks won’t enter service for months. The city government will rent garbage trucks and hire an outside recycling service to bridge the gap until they do.

Garbage truck

Houston is taking steps to deal with delays in trash and recycling pickups. It’s one of the most common complaints Houstonians make, and now the city is augmenting its aging fleet of solid waste trucks.

Most of the city’s garbage and recycling trucks are more than 15 years old and are breaking down more and more frequently. The city has ordered dozens of new trucks, but most won’t get to Houston for months. Now, the city council has approved plans to rent additional garbage trucks and hire an outside recycling pickup firm.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that “the steps that we have taken today will help to bridge us until the new equipment comes in, and then we’ll need to get on a systematic schedule.”

Turner said the city still has a lot of work ahead of it to overhaul its solid waste fleet. Many of the current trucks have been in almost constant use for years. That includes hauling away heavy trash in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita, Ike, and Harvey, as well as other floods.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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