Dallas’ Outdoor Watering Restrictions Begin Today

Between April 1 and October 31, residents my not water their yards between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Additional Conservation Ordinance Outdoor Watering Guidelines:

  • Hand water or use a soaker hose. Both are permitted at any time.
  • Maintain your sprinkler system. Repair any broken, missing or misdirected sprinkler heads.
  • Automatic sprinkler system owners are required to have rain and freeze sensors installed.
  • Monitor your total water usage. If you use more than 15,000 gallons a month, you’ll now pay a surcharge on the
    amount above 15,000.
  • Don’t water during any form of precipitation.
  • Don’t allow your sprinkler system to water driveways, sidewalks and streets.
  • Don’t waste water by allowing runoff onto a street or other drainage area when you’re watering.
  • Violations of these outdoor water guidelines can result in fines of $250 to $2,000 per incident. First offenses will be issued a warning.
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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 http://www.dallascityhall.com 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.