Map of East Dallas Homes Changing from Alley to Curb Trash Pick-Up

As of March 1, the City of Dallas is changing to once-a-week trash and recycling pick-up.  That will require switching from bags to using the large gray trash bins.  Because many of our East Dallas alleys are too narrow to accommodate the bins as well as a garbage truck, we (including my own household) are switching from alley pick-up to curb pick-up.

Here is a map of the affected homes.  If you have questions, please email the head of sanitation, Mary Nix, and copy me: and

Changes to Recycling and Garbage Pick-Up

Beginning in March 2010, every household in Dallas is switching to once-a-week garbage and recycling pick-up.  The City of Dallas Sanitation Department will be picking up our garbage and recycling once a week — both on the same day.  For many neighborhoods in Old East Dallas, that will mean shifting from alley service to curb service for trash collection because our alleys are too narrow for the larger trucks and large bins.

To educate residents about these changes, the city is hosting several community meetings.  I hope you’ll attend and pass along this information to your neighbors:

January 11 | 6:30 p.m.
St. Thomas Aquinas Church
6306 Kenwood Street

January 12 | 6:30 p.m.
Stonewall Jackson Elementary
5828 E. Mockingbird Lane

January 16 | 10 a.m.
Samuell Grand Recreation Center
6200 E. Grand Avenue

January 21 | 6:30 p.m.
Lakewood Branch Library
6121 Worth Street

What Can You Recycle in Dallas?

Here’s some great updated info about what you can (and can’t) recycle in Dallas’ curbside recycling pick-up program, and what to do with the other stuff (from

What can be recycled? Just about everything! Think of these four primary types: PAPER, PLASTIC, METAL, and GLASS.  All of the following items may be placed (without sorting) in your blue cart or blue bags:

  • Paper products — Newspapers and inserts, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, mixed office paper, mail and junk mail.
  • Cardboard — Cardboard boxes, chipboard (like cereal and tissue boxes). Flatten all boxes to get more use of your cart.
  • Plastic Containers — Bottles (with or without caps), jars, containers with the triangle label symbol #1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6 and 7 (please rinse!). You’ll find the plastics number in a triangle on the base of the container. If in doubt, put it in the cart – and we’ll sort it out.
  • Metals — Containers made of steel, tin, and aluminum (please rinse!) Used aerosol (non-hazardous) cans are ok too. Sorry, no scrap metal pieces.
  • Glass — Unbroken bottles and jars of any color (please rinse!). Lids are ok.
  • Styrofoam — We’ve just added styrofoam – Food take-out containers ONLY (please rinse!)  [This info was erroneously posted on the city’s website.  Styrofoam is NOT collected for recycling at this time.] Continue reading

New Trash/Recycling Schedule for Part of District 14

If you live west of Central Expressway in District 14, your trash and recycling pick up is going to change.

Starting Feb. 1, the city is beginning phase 2 of its once-a-week trash and recycling service. You will put out your trash and recycling once a week for pick-up. Pick-up for both is on the same day of the week. You can see your pick-up day on the map.

Once-a-week pick-up saves on fuel, and we saw a dramatic rise in recycling and reduction of trash (which lengthens the life of our landfill) during phase 1 in North Dallas.

Phase 3 of the once-a-week trash will include the eastern part of District 14. That is scheduled to begin in Feb. 2010, but I’m trying to get that moved up. To do it sooner, Districts 9, 10, and 14 have to all agree (since it’s done as a group).

You can also visit the city’s recycling website for more info.

Geeking Out Over a German Waste Treatment Plant

I’m sure the other Fellows thought I was nuts given how excited I was to visit a state-of-the-art garbage treatment plant on the outskirts of the city. Our host, Meggie, was terrific to set up the tour.

In researching Lubeck, Germany, I discovered that they have a mechanical biological treatment plant that consists of mechanical sorting and anaerobic digestion — a fancy way of saying they divert tons of trash from their landfill by recycling it or reusing it in various ways. Continue reading

Recycling Results Are In: East Dallas Neighborhoods Approve Change to Blue Bin

Hey, everyone. Sorry this took so long to post. First, I want to thank everyone for participating in the recent neighborhood vote on recycling options. There were several neighborhoods in East Dallas that were not eligible to use the new blue recycling bins because their recycling is picked up in the alleys. Most of our East Dallas alleys are too small for the regular recycling trucks, so special, smaller trucks have to be used and the recycling has to be picked up manually.

Many residents contacted me to indicate they would like to use the blue bins. I’ve worked hard with our Sanitation Department to figure out a way to do this, so we mailed ballots to residents in the manual pick up areas to see if they wanted to switch to blue bins picked up at the curb.

The votes are in, and all but one neighborhood decided to switch to the Big Blue recycling roll carts at the curb every other week. The change in service will start August 1st . See the map below to see if your neighborhood will be changing to blue bin recycling as of August 1st:

(Click image to enlarge)
If you have not already ordered your Big Blue, please do so by calling 311, or go online at to request one. The City will deliver your cart in 10-14 days. If you have already ordered the cart, there is no need to re-request.

Starting August 1st, the City’s Sanitation Services Department will collect your recyclables every-other-week – right at your curbside. Just wheel your cart or carry your blue bags to the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the collection day. No worries about which day

Recycling Update

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy six weeks, and I wanted to give you an update on several city and community issues, starting with recycling.

The second phase of Dallas’ new recycling program has begun. New, blue recycling bins were distributed to residents, and if you haven’t gotten yours, you can call 311 to request a bin. Remember, recycling is now “single-stream,” meaning you can pile all your paper, glass, metal, and plastic (all but #6) into one container.

Residents (including my home) who have alley pick up are NOT eligible at this time to use the blue bins. Because our alleys are narrow, we have to have small recycling trucks pick up our recycling and do manual pick up instead of automatic. Some folks who have alley pick up were delivered a blue bin in error. The city will come by and pick up your blue bin (you can even fill it up with recycling).

I’ve gotten tons of emails from people expressing their new found love of their blue bins, and their frustration with having to give it up because they have alley pick up. We have hopefully come up with a couple of possible solutions: First, the Sanitation Department is going to design a process so that streets that want to convert to street pick up for trash and recycling can do so. They don’t know what the process will be at this point, and because they’re in the middle of getting the new recycling program up and running, it’ll take a few months for them to get focussed on creating an alley-to-curb pick up process. But it’s in the works.

Second, I talked with the head of Sanitation yesterday, and proposed that we try a pilot alley recycling program using the blue bins. I went out to meet with the recycling guys when they picked up recycling from my home last week, and it looks to me like it might be possible to use the bins in the alleys. It may depend on the alleys and how much room there is for bins and the trucks to navigate, but it’s worth a try. The pilot program will take a few months, but hopefully this could be a solution.