Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

Department of Neighborhoods to Resume Heavy Trash Code Enforcement March 1, 2018

February 16, 2018 -- In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastating floods, the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) placed a moratorium on the enforcement of heavy trash codes to give residents reasonable time to clear debris, junk and other materials from their properties. As the city continues to make strides in the recovery and rebuilding process, on March 1, 2018, the department will resume heavy trash inspections and code enforcement operations in accordance with City of Houston Code of Ordinances Chapter 39.

The department is specifically responsible for inspections and code enforcement pertaining to littering, placement of trash containers for garbage collection service, rules that establish the items that will be picked up by city collectors, including junk and tree waste, and disturbance of contents of garbage collections containers. Other aspects of garbage collection are managed by the Solid Waste Management Department.

“Residents and city crews have had to operate under unusual circumstances over the last five and a half months to manage debris and waste from Hurricane Harvey,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “Now we ask Houstonians to help us return to some degree of normalcy as the Department of Neighborhoods resumes enforcement aimed at preventing unhealthy or unsightly clustering of trash.”

“In the aftermath of Harvey, many residents had to deal with unprecedented huge volumes of trash and debris, and our inspections teams made allowances by giving residents and property owners time to come up with the help and resources needed to comply with heavy trash guidelines,” said department director TaKasha Francis. “With much of the cleanup now completed, we are resuming the enforcement of city guidelines for the proper and timely placement of heavy trash and tree waste and the proper placement and storage of garbage collection containers. The timely and proper placement of heavy trash and tree waste and proper placement and storage of trash containers are among the easiest actions residents can take to maintain nice neighborhoods, while noncompliance can result in citations and fines of fifty to two thousand dollars,” said the director.

In addition to heavy trash codes under Chapter 39, DON is also responsible for the enforcement of Chapter 10 codes pertaining to overgrown lots, dangerous vacant buildings, nuisances on private property, trash and junk accumulation, junk motor vehicles, graffiti, and congregate facilities sanitary equipment. The department also enforces Chapter 28 codes pertaining to the placement of unlawful signs on city property and right of way.

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About the Department of Neighborhoods
The City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods offers a wide range of services to improve quality of life for Houstonians. Our services include inspections and code enforcement to reduce blight and make neighborhoods cleaner and safer. We assist citizens to help resolve neighborhood concerns and connect them to city services and community resources. We reach out to youth to prevent juvenile delinquency and gang involvement and promote education, civic leadership and community service. We facilitate the civic, economic and cultural integration of our diverse immigrant and refugee communities through partnerships with local entities. Learn more about our programs and services and how you can help make Houston a great place to call home. Visit us at