Illegal dumping in Houston, Mayor Turner announces One Clean Houston plan
HOUSTON - In an effort to fight the issue of illegal dumping around Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner announces a new initiative.
On Wednesday, Mayor Turner released a One Clean Houston initiative which focuses on three areas to address illegal dumping and keeping Houston neighborhoods clean, especially areas that have been repeatedly targeted by dumping.
The three key areas include:
- Rapid cleanup
- Better enforcement
- Prevention and education
"My administration has always prioritized the eradication of illegal dumping, and now One Clean Houston outlines how we will move forward together to combat a prevalent problem," said Mayor Turner. "Illegal dumping is a blight on our community, threatening the health and welfare of people living in neighborhoods where illegal dumping occurs. It is unlawful for anyone to dump trash in areas where it does not belong. Not only do we intend to clean up Houston, but we will intensify our work to hold offenders responsible for their dirty work."
In his release, he says this plan outlines Houston's commitment to working with homeowners, community members, non-profits, industry, and other governmental organizations.
RECENT ILLEGAL DUMPING: Illegal dumping caught on camera in Northeast Houston, City later sent clean-up trucks
The initiative will distribute nearly $18 million, an unprecedented investment, over the next two years to address dumping which has been impacting many neighborhoods, specifically vulnerable ones.
Also, funding will be given to the City's Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) to remove debris from dumpsites as quickly as possible and will increase funding for equipment and personnel to help arrest violators.
One Clean Houston will provide alternatives to dispose of waste, educate the community on the consequences and impacts of dumping, and improve areas prone to it, according to Turner's release.
"In addition to increasing our debris removal capacity, Mayor Turner has supported the department's requests to deploy several new mobile security cameras in specific neighborhoods subjected to frequent illegal dumping. Our teams will use these mobile devices to deter unauthorized dumping and identify the violators responsible for this careless and illegal behavior," said SWMD Director Mark Wilfalk.
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"We cannot do this alone. We need all community members to step up and say enough is enough; we love our City and will protect it from this unacceptable blight. I'm asking all Houstonians to take some pride and stand up for One Clean Houston," said Mayor Turner.
Local Pastor M.D. Morrison, Senior spoke with FOX 26 in February about this problem – surveillance video from his church caught the moment a large amount of trash was dumped by a truck behind the New Birth Baptist property. That trash has been picked up, but problems remain in that area.
"It was only 24 hours from you being here the trash did get picked up," said Morrison. "However, we've had some other incidents. Not as frequent, and certainly not as much."
Precinct 1, where most of the illegal dumping happens, will receive over 120 new cameras as a part of this initiative. Constable Alan Rosen says this and the six additional investigators given to his office will help them to focus on cracking down cases.
Pastor Morrison is happy to hear the changes, but he says he’ll stay cautiously optimistic about it.
"A two-year plan won’t solve a decades-old problem," says Morrison. "Hopefully, we can get a plan in place for when this runs out. If we stay committed to this fight, then we can get to the promised land."
The full plan and more information regarding One Clean Houston can be found here.