Houston 1 week behind schedule on waste pickups ahead of flood threat

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Houston's backed up waste collection could impact flooding
Ahead of this week's potential flooding, Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed the need to address junk waste collection, which has backed up in recent weeks.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With heavy periods of rainfall threatening in the middle of this week, regional emergency officials have renewed warnings to residents to clear gutters of debris.

However, the weather threat couldn't come at a worse time for the city of Houston, which announced earlier this month it was one week behind schedule on collecting junk waste.

The city explained that the Houston Department of Solid Waste Management experienced higher than anticipated amounts of junk waste placed at the curb during April.

Due to delay, crews are also behind on collecting tree waste. The city explains it rotates between junk waste and tree waste collection monthly, with April being a junk waste month and May being a tree waste month.

This sets up the potential of blocked drainage and a higher risk of flooding.

The video above is from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's fiscal year 2021 budget presentation on May 11, 2021, where he sheds light on the backed up waste collections.

Among his top suggestions ahead of the potential flooding event, Jeff Lindner, the director of the Harris County Flood Control District's flood operations, urged residents to clean out gutters.

"You can flood from the sheer amount of water falling from the sky on your street, and the water gets into your house because the street drainage system can't keep up with that type of rainfall rate," Lindner warned.

WATCH: Don't put off preparing for potential flooding, officials urge

Homeowners, Harris County's flood control chief is giving you your marching orders today while you can prepare for the potential flooding on Wednesday.

As far as what Houstonians can do about their waste, the city urged them to hold additional junk waste until the next schedule collection in June. They're also asked not to mix any junk waste in with the tree waste.

Junk waste and tree waste are also accepted at the Department's Neighborhood Depository and Recycling Centers. All Neighborhood Depositories hours of operations are being extended, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.