Solid Waste Management

Press Release


January 13, 2010 -- The City of Houston has established April 5, 2010 as the startup date for the collection of yard trimmings in compostable bags.  City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department crews will only pick up bagged yard trimmings placed at the curb in City-approved compostable bags.  Yard trimmings placed in the garbage cart, or in any other type of container or bag will not be collected. On September 2, 2009, City Council approved the revisions to Chapter 39 of the City of Houston’s Code of Ordinances pertaining to the collection of yard trimmings.

By diverting this material from area landfills, the City anticipates saving at least $1.5 million dollars annually while preserving the environment and valuable landfill space.  The Solid Waste Management Department will use avoided landfill costs to add more Houstonians to the Automated Recycling Program.

The Solid Waste Management Department will notify Houston residents through direct mail to residents, meetings with Superneighborhood / Civic Associations, TV, radio, newspaper, Facebook, CitizensNet e-mail newsletters, as well as Council Member newsletter and/or e-blasts.  For the latest information regarding these changes, residents can log onto the Solid Waste Management Department’s website at  Many of the radio and TV stations will be linking their websites to the Solid Waste Management Department website.

The City of Houston is reminding residents that they can “let it lay or take it away.”  Houstonians can choose the free alternative to bagging their leaves and lawn clippings by using a mulching mower for “grasscycling” or making their own personal compost pile.  Work done by lawn care professionals can be left on the lawn or should be taken away by the contractor.

Approved compostable bags are available at numerous retailers throughout the city.  These bags can be identified by a logo on the box specifying “City Approved”, and “City of Houston Biodegradable / Compostable Bag”.  Please go to the City of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department web site at to find a current list of retailers and more information regarding the compostable bag program.