Mayor Turner promises 'One Clean Houston' plan's announcement before end of March

Chaz Miller Image
Saturday, March 11, 2023
Mayor hints at 'One Clean Houston' anti-dumping campaign
As Houston reaches up to 400 known illegal dumping sites in the city, Mayor Sylvester Turner is revealing his "One Clean Houston" initiative.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Friday afternoon that a comprehensive plan to curtail illegal dumping in the city should be announced by the end of the month.

"It's going to be called 'One Clean Houston,'" Turner said.

Details on what that plan entails weren't disclosed.

Fighting illegal dumping has become one of his administration's top priorities, as numbers provided by the city say 230 to 400 dump sites are cleaned up each month.

Despite efforts to combat the issue, which already includes cameras and increased initiatives by law enforcement, the mayor described some of the challenges they face when it comes to cleaning up these sites.

"I have driven through areas where, in one week, there was a lot of trash. I personally called, and (Houston) Solid Waste came and picked it up," he said. "Literally, two weeks later, there that stuff is again."

Houston City Council also approved millions of dollars earlier this year to hire an outside company to assist with cleanup of such sites.

One woman, who hopes to see relief soon, lives near the 7900 block of St. Louis Street in northeast Houston.

The corner of St. Louis and Fleta contains broken glass in the street, piles of trash, and the remnants of a vacant church that burned down in 2020.

"It's not safe because I have kids. Everybody has kids around," she said while wishing to remain unidentified. "There's big rats and everything."

She said the problem started when the church burnt down, and that the city hasn't cleaned the trash due to questions over who owned the property, as well as the fact that it's not located near a school or other high-priority landmark.

She said the trash dumped on the site, not including the remnants of the church, has made driving and walking down the street incredibly difficult.

We've been in communication with the city's solid waste department to see what they've done about this complaint but are still awaiting an answer as they work to gather that information.

"They've been here every other week just checking it out," she said. "They haven't done anything about it."

The city encourages residents who see illegal dumping to call 311, whose headquarters Mayor Turner visited on Friday.

In the meantime, the woman we spoke with just hopes something is done sooner than later.

"It's getting worse," she said. "We want our neighborhood to look pretty and nice so more people can be around."

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