City to measure recycling participation

The City of Georgetown is counting how many residents participate in the City’s curbside recycling program. The count will be done June 16-30.

The City reviews residential recycling participation each year to ensure the service is meeting the needs of the community. Staff will count the number of recycling carts at the curb and consider route or service changes needed to increase participation.

Last year’s participation rate was 70.3 percent. Recycled materials are collected by the City’s solid waste contractor, Texas Disposal Systems, and processed at their Materials Recovery Facility in Creedmore. TDS provides residents with single-stream recycling, requiring no material separation at home. The MRF processes more than 50,000 pounds of recyclable material per hour, including glass, cardboard, paper, aluminum, and plastics.

No extra effort is required to be included in the count. Residents should simply place recycling carts at the curb on their regular recycling day during the count period. To find collection days or to learn more about recycling in the City of Georgetown, visit recycle.georgetown.org.

Volunteers needed to make Red Poppy Festival a zero waste event

Each year, thousands of people attend Georgetown’s signature event, the Red Poppy Festival. And each year, attendees generate more than 10,000 pounds of waste. Last year, nearly 70 percent of the waste was diverted away from the landfill, either by composting or recycling.

In an ongoing effort to reduce the festival’s impact on the landfill, organizers are working to make the Red Poppy Festival a zero waste event. The City, in partnership with Texas Disposal Systems, is working to divert 90 percent of the waste away from the landfill.

To meet this goal, volunteers are needed at eco-stations located throughout the festival to help attendees place recycling, composting, and landfill materials in the appropriate containers. Volunteers are also needed to assist in picking up litter and educating people about the positive effects of diverting waste for reuse and recycling. No experience is needed and volunteers will receive a free Red Poppy Festival T-shirt.

Festival food vendors are already using compostable plates, dishes, straws, napkins, and cutlery. Composting and recycling stations will be available throughout the festival area. Attendees are encouraged to use the recycling and composting stations at the festival.

For more information and to sign-up to volunteer visit redpoppyfestival.com/volunteer.

About the festival

This signature festival on the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas runs April 26-28 with live music, entertainment, family fun, food, and more than 120 arts and craft vendors.

The Friday night concert features Dysfunkshun Junkshun. Other festival highlights include the Red Poppy Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m., and the Car Show on Saturday at 11 a.m.

This year the City of Georgetown celebrates the 20th anniversary of Red Poppy Festival with special Saturday night headliner Texas Country music singer-songwriter Pat Green.

Household hazardous waste options for Georgetown residents

The City of Georgetown is in the process of finalizing details for a new household hazardous waste program that is expected to be announced this summer. In the interim, residents have some options for disposing of their household hazardous waste.

The City of Round Rock offers household hazardous waste collection on the first Wednesday of each month from 3-6 p.m. at the recycling center, 310 Deepwood Drive. The cost is $40 per car. More information about what is accepted and the Round Rock recycling center can be found at www.roundrocktexas.gov/departments/utilities-and-environmental-services/solid-waste-recycling/household-hazardous-waste-disposal. Payments can be made by cash or check. Proof of Williamson County residency is required.

Round Rock is also hosting a Household Hazardous Waste collection on April 13. The same guidelines apply.

Georgetown residents can also take household hazardous waste items to the Williamson County household hazardous waste collection event on April 27 in Cedar Park. There is no cost to residents for the April 27 event, and proof of Williamson County residency will also be required. Details on that event will be posted at williamsoncountylandfill.wm.com/community/household-haz-waste-collection.jsp.

Updates and details about the City’s new household hazardous waste program will be posted to recycle.georgetown.org.

What is household hazardous waste?

Household hazardous waste products should never be poured out on the ground, down the drain, or thrown out with regular household garbage. Improper disposal can contaminate groundwater and drinking water. It can also injure those who come into contact with the waste

Many common products used in the home and garden are considered household hazardous waste. These items should not be placed in residential trash collection carts or placed at the curb for pickup.

Household hazardous waste products are often labeled with words such as caution, toxic, poison, corrosive, or danger. Examples include:

  • Aerosol spray cans
  • Antifreeze
  • Art and hobby chemicals
  • Automotive products
  • Fluorescent lights (tubes or CFLs)
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants
  • Mercury (from thermometers, thermostats)
  • Motor oil or transmission fluid
  • Paints and stains, especially oil-based
  • Pesticides and poisons
  • Pool and spa chemicals
  • Thinners and solvents
  • Vehicle batteries (wet cell)

Each year, the City of Georgetown collects about 75,000 pounds of household hazardous waste.

City introduces holiday lights recycling

The City of Georgetown has partnered with Texas Disposal Systems to offer free holiday string-light recycling to all Georgetown residents. Georgetown is the first city in Central Texas to offer this service.

Residents can drop off their old or broken string lights until Jan. 31 at one of three collection locations:

  • City of Georgetown Collection and Transfer Station, 250 W.L. Walden Road
  • Georgetown Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
  • Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

Sun City residents may also drop off old or broken string lights at the Cowan Creek Pavilion, 1433 Cool Springs Way, in Sun City.

String lights should not be placed in residential or commercial recycling bins because they can damage the sorting machines at the recycling center. String lights must be taken to a collection location. The program is limited to string lights. Yard art, inflatables and other holiday lighting will not be collected.

Recycling Christmas Trees and Boxes

City of Georgetown residents are encouraged to recycle Christmas trees, boxes, and wrapping paper to reduce material going to the landfill. If you recycle your tree, please remove the tree stand and any garland, ornaments, or lights. Artificial trees cannot be recycled.

Curbside Pick-up: Texas Disposal Systems customers in the city limits of Georgetown can put Christmas trees on the curb for collection on your regular yard trimmings pickup day. Trees seven feet in length or less can be placed at the curb uncut. Longer trees should be cut into sections. No artificial trees.

Collection Day Look-up: For Georgetown city residents, your yard trimmings collection day is on your first recycling day of the month. Look it up at recycle.georgetown.org.

Boxes and Wrapping Paper: Cardboard boxes and wrapping paper are recyclable. If they won’t fit in your recycling cart, you can put wrapping paper and boxes in a larger box and set it next to your recycling cart so it can be recycled. Ribbons and bows are not recyclable. Cellophane wrap and plastic bags are recyclable if they are placed in a yellow bag-the-bag, tied, and placed inside the recycling cart. Note that no extra plastic bags next to your trash cart are permitted without a bag tag. Go to recycle.georgetown.org for a complete list of recyclables.

Christmas Tree Drop-off: From Dec. 26 through Jan. 31 at no charge, Christmas trees will be accepted at the City of Georgetown Collection Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive. Normal fees apply to other items. Mulch is available, year-round, free-of-charge to City residents.

Collection Station: Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Collection Station is closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, open on Dec. 31 (closing at 3 p.m.), and closed Jan. 1. For details, contact Texas Disposal Systems at (512) 930-1715.

Recycling Christmas Trees and Boxes

City of Georgetown residents are encouraged to recycle Christmas trees, boxes and wrapping paper to reduce material going to the landfill. If you recycle your tree, please remove the tree stand and any garland, ornaments, or lights. Artificial trees cannot be recycled.

Curbside Pick-up

Texas Disposal Systems customers in the city limits of Georgetown can put Christmas trees on the curb for collection on your regular yard trimmings pickup day. Trees seven feet in length or less can be placed at the curb uncut. Longer trees should be cut into sections. All curbside-collected yard trimmings are brought to the City’s Collection Station and ground into mulch.

Collection Day Look-up

For Georgetown city residents, your yard trimmings collection day is on your first recycling day of the month. Look it up at recycle.georgetown.org. Select the “What Are My Collection Days?” link and you’ll have two options to find your service schedule. Use the interactive map, or use the Streets List and correlating schedule charts found on the webpage.

Boxes and Wrapping Paper

Cardboard boxes and wrapping paper are recyclable. If they won’t fit in your recycling cart, you can put wrapping paper and boxes in a larger box and set it next to your recycling cart so it can be recycled. Ribbons and bows are not recyclable. Cellophane wrap and plastic bags are recyclable if they are placed in a yellow bag-the-bag, tied, and placed inside the recycling cart. Note that no extra plastic bags next to your trash cart are permitted without a bag tag. Go to recycle.georgetown.org for a complete list of recyclables.

Christmas Tree Drop-off

From December 26 through January 30 at no charge, Christmas trees will be accepted at the City of Georgetown Collection Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive. Normal fees will apply to other items.

Collection Station

Mulch is available, year-round, free-of-charge to City residents at the Collection Station. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Collection Station closes at 12 p.m. on December 24, is closed on December 25 and January 1, and closes at 3 p.m. on December 26, December 31, and January 2. For details, contact Texas Disposal Systems at (512) 930-1715.

Phone Scammers Pose as City Employees

Phone scammers who claim to be requesting payment for a City of Georgetown utility account have recently called Georgetown utility customers. Seven local businesses have contacted the Customer Care Center for the utility to report someone calling and trying to get them to pay a utility bill over the phone.

Don’t be fooled.

A similar phone scam targeted local businesses and residents last year. The Georgetown Police Department has been notified of the current scam attempt.

The City utility does not call customers and demand payments over the phone says Leticia Zavala, customer care director for Georgetown Utility Systems. If a bill payment is overdue, Zavala says there is a three-step notification process:

First, late notices are mailed to customers with unpaid balances the day after the billing due date.

Second, an automated phone call is provided to the phone number on the account two weeks after the billing due date.

Third, a second automated phone call is provided to the phone number on the account three weeks after the billing due date.

It is strictly against policy for any customer service representative to accept payment in the field.

If customers have questions about a utility bill, call the Customer Care Center at (512) 930-3640 before giving out financial information regarding your utility account.

Yard Trimmings Collections

For City of Georgetown residents in the city limits, seasonal curbside yard trimmings pickups started March 2 and continue through May 29.

Collections are every-other-week. Branches should be bundled with twine and no more than four feet in length. Compostable brown paper lawn and leaf bags need to be used for leaves, grass, or other organic material. Containers marked as “yard” also can be used. A maximum of 20 bags, bundles, or containers can be picked up per collection.

Yard trimming collections are done with a special truck. Branches, leaves, and other material that is bundled or in compostable bags is mulched or composted at the Texas Disposal Systems landfill and then made into gardening products.

Look up your schedule at recycle.georgetown.org or call Texas Disposal Systems at (512) 930-1715.