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June 26, 2023

Waste And Recycling Workers Week: Honoring Houston's Environmental Stewards

The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department, in collaboration with the Honey Brown Hope Foundation, will recognize outstanding sanitation workers as part of the "Waste and Recycling Workers Week" celebration.

The "No Trashing, Trash Workers!" campaign, an initiative of the Honey Brown Hope Foundation's "We Love America Healthy and Clean" program, aims to raise awareness about the invaluable contributions of sanitation workers and inspire communities to show gratitude to these essential individuals. This year, the City’s SWMD is joining forces with the campaign to educate the public about the vital services its employees provide every day.

“Waste and Recycling Workers Week” employee recognition will be held during the City Council Meeting on June 27, 2023, at 1:30 pm.

“The work carried out by our team has a far-reaching impact on the daily lives of our community, yet it often goes unnoticed,” said Solid Waste Management Department Director Mark Wilfalk. "We encourage everyone to join us in recognizing and appreciating the irreplaceable role performed by these dedicated environmental stewards today and throughout the year."

During the June 27 city council meeting and at separate celebrations across the city, the following six employees will be recognized for their exceptional service.

  • Carlos Auston
  • Patrick Burleson
  • Derick Daughtry
  • DeAndre Huddleston
  • Mark Lewis
  • Leo Williams

"It is my distinct pleasure to acknowledge the selfless and unwavering commitment exhibited by the distinguished men and women in our Solid Waste Management Department who ensure that sanitation services protect and maintain the well-being and cleanliness of our communities," stated Councilmember Martha Castex-Tatum. "As Vice Mayor Pro-Tem and Council Member of District K, it is my honor to urge every citizen and local business to actively engage in expressing gratitude and appreciation for the outstanding men and women serving in our Solid Waste Management Department."

“By nurturing a sense of environmental stewardship in youth and families, we have come to intimately understand the critical role that solid waste workers play in preserving our planet for generations to come.” stated Tammie Lang Campbell, Executive Director of the Honey Brown Hope Foundation. “From protecting public health to carrying out physically demanding tasks and maintaining the cleanliness of our neighborhoods, these unsung heroes truly deserve our heartfelt appreciation for their invaluable service."

What can communities and individuals do to help and honor waste and recycling workers? To honor and support waste and recycling workers, people can engage in various acts of gratitude. In-person expressions of appreciation include writing thank you notes, offering tokens of appreciation, giving cold bottles of water on hot days, waving to garbage truck drivers, displaying heartfelt messages of gratitude on garage doors, or simply saying "thank you" in person. Digital expressions of gratitude can be shared on the "No Trashing Trash Workers" digital kudos board at SWM KUDOS BOARD or through social media posts using the hashtags #NoTrashingTrashWorkers and #WRWW.