Solid Waste Management Department

Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) First Pass Debris Collection Substantially Complete


City of Houston 

Harry J. Hayes, Director
For more information, please contact:
City of Houston Solid Waste Management
Sylvester Turner, Mayor

Irma Reyes, Public Information Officer
(832) 393-0475 office 

Tyra Wilkins
(832) 393-0448 office 


Houston, Texas, October 11, 2017: With the removal of more than 1 million cubic yards of Hurricane Harvey debris, The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department has substantially completed its first pass of storm debris collection services. Mayor Sylvester Turner commented “I commend the hard work of Solid Waste Management employees and leadership as they have managed the cleanup of this overwhelming and emotional debris field. We should keep in mind that it wasn’t simply debris at the curb, but years and years of precious memories. Houstonians should take great comfort that our municipal and contractor crews have worked nonstop to provide relief as they have undertaken the difficult process of rebuilding their homes and creating new memories.”

Since beginning debris collections on August 30, 2017, the City of Houston, municipal crews from Austin and San Antonio and private contractors have removed what is considered the most “dangerous” debris. This debris initially placed at the curb was soaked in floodwaters and considered a public health hazard by the City’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. David Persse. Debris collection will continue as homeowners continue to work through the devastation of Harvey’s floodwaters, high winds and rains.

The initial pass has provided debris removal service to homeowners who were immediately available to return to their homes and begin removal of flooded furniture, appliances, carpet and sheetrock. Additional passes will collect additional material, such as materials from those homeowners who have already began work; homes that were untouched during the first pass; material generated due to leaking roofs or damaged outdoor property improvements (fencing); and green waste generated by fallen/broken trees or vegetation.

The second city wide pass is expected to take up to 60 days to complete and end by December 1, 2017. Second pass collection will move at a slower pace than the initial pass due to the inconsistency of impacted residents in starting and completing their property remediation.

Residents should move their debris curbside by 7 a.m. placing items away from fire hydrants, mailboxes, power lines and other objects that impact the overhead operations of the equipment used for collection. Residents are also strongly encouraged to remove vehicles away from debris piles. If access to the debris is blocked, crews cannot collect the debris.


  1. Normal Household Trash - Normal household trash and bagged debris of any kind will not be picked up with storm debris as part of this program. Garbage (black container) will be collected on its normal weekly schedule.
  2. Vegetative Debris – leaves (do not put in bags), logs, plants, and tree branches.
  3. Construction & Demolition Debris – building materials, carpet, drywall, furniture, lumber, mattresses and plumbing.
  4. Appliances & related goods – air conditioners, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers and water heaters.
  5. Electronics – computers, radios, stereos, televisions, and other devices with a cord.
  6. Household Hazardous Waste – cleaning supplies, batteries, lawn chemical, oils, oil-based paints, stains and pesticides.

For more information about the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department and its services, please visit us at, like us on Facebook at, follow us on twitter @houstontrash or call 3-1-1, the City of Houston’s Customer Service Hotline.

The Solid Waste Management Department provides solid waste service to the citizens of Houston through the collection, disposal and recycling of discarded material in a manner that is safe, efficient, environmentally sound and cost-effective.