Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner Decides to Maintain Trash Subsidy for Houston Neighborhoods

May 16, 2016 -- After weighing the budgetary impact and obtaining input from City Council, Mayor Sylvester Turner has decided not to pursue elimination of subsidies to homeowners associations that opt out of City trash collection services.

Under the program, which began in the 1970s, the City pays a monthly $6 per household subsidy to homeowners associations that contract for more expensive trash collection service from private haulers.  Elimination of the subsidy was predicted to save the City $3.5 million annually, but only if the homeowners groups stuck with their private haulers.
“Many of the neighborhood associations have indicated they will request City collection if the subsidy is abandoned,” said Mayor Turner.  “As a result, we are now looking at increased costs as opposed to the savings that had originally been anticipated.  Therefore, it no longer makes sense to pursue this at this time.  We can balance the budget without it.”

Elimination of the trash subsidy was one of several options put forth to help close a projected $160 million budget shortfall in Fiscal Year 2017, which begins July 1.  City Council will consider the budget on May 25, a full month earlier than normal.  Mayor Turner has requested early approval to send a strong message to the credit rating agencies about the attention the City’s fiscal challenges are getting from City Hall.