GSMD’s 2nd Heavy Trash Removal Event in January a Success; 3rd Round Planned for April
The Greater Southeast Management District (GSMD), which launched its anti-litter campaign, “Cleaner. Safer. Better,” earlier this year, held its second heavy trash removal event on January 26.
Bryan Smart, the owner of Smartscaping, the company GSMD partnered with on the initiative, shared that they collected 8,600 pounds of heavy commercial trash.
Want to learn more? Want to see photos and a video from the event on January 26?
Want to participate in the next event in April?
The trash pick-up is FREE and open to commercial properties within the boundaries of Houston Southeast.
Register at: DontDump.org/sign-up
Nikki Knight, with the GSMD, is the program manager overseeing the initiative. Knight seeks to address the area’s chronic illegal dumping problem to continue to maintain the area’s vibrancy that attracts business, bolsters economic growth, and increases community pride.
The Reason Why
Based on the City of Houston 311 service request data from 2019-2020, GSMD, located southeast of Downtown Houston, had the third-highest number of records or service requests for trash or illegal dumping.
Illegal dumping can have many severe consequences to the natural and built environments as it can:
- Contaminate soil and water
- Cause illness or health issues of those living in the area
- Become a breeding ground for mosquitos, flies, rats, skunks, and opossums, which can transmit numerous life-threatening diseases
- Decrease property values around illegal dumping sites
- Hide/incubate crime
The Heavy Trash Abatement Initiative in Houston Southeast addresses illegal dumping along its economic development corridors, District-managed parks, the Columbia Tap Trail, and strategic underpasses. GSMD partners include the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Houston-Galveston Area Council, the City of Houston-Council District D, the City of Houston Solid Waste, and American Youthworks.
Areas to Benefit
- Emancipation Avenue Corridor from Pierce to Southmore Boulevard
- Scott Street Corridor from I-45 to Scottcrest
- Griggs Road from I-610 to Old Spanish Trail
- Old Spanish Trail (OST)
- Almeda Corridor
- Martin Luther King Boulevard
- Beekman Street from Griggs Road to Martin Luther King Boulevard
- Southmore Boulevard
- Wheeler Avenue
- 3 Park/Trail Areas
- Columbia Tap Rail/Trail at I-45 and S. MacGregor
- Park at the Palm Center
- MacGregor Park
Knight explained that the program has short- and long-term goals. GSMD will help educate residents by increasing awareness of the negative impacts of littering and illegal dumping. The program will inform them about the local services that can help dispose of heavy waste and strongly encourage recycling.
At the same time, GSMD will address illegal dumping by 1) hosting dumping days throughout the district for supplemental pick-up opportunities, 2) monitoring and tracking weight and type of trash, 3) cleaning up targeted commercial areas and public right-of-way areas, and 4) video monitoring hotspots to assist law enforcement in identifying and prosecuting culprits in partnership with the Houston Police Department and Harris County Precinct 7 Constables.
In the long term, the GSMD wants to see a decrease in overall littering, a reduction in heavy trash and illegal dumping, a decrease in crime and violence, and a renewed sense of ownership and pride in the community.
“Illegal dumping has a ripple effect and causes suffering beyond visual blight. It’s time to address this issue together and bring safety, health, and beauty back to our communities. A clean and economically viable district translates into a renewed sense of pride, improved quality of life, business growth, greater tourism, a larger workforce, better wages, public and private investment, entrepreneurship, and overall success in our communities. Together, we can create a cleaner, safer, more beautiful Houston Southeast that everyone can take pride in,” said Knight.
For more information or if you would like to assist with the program’s success, contact Nikki Knight.
GSMD Neighborhoods: Hermann Park, historic Third Ward, MacGregor, Museum Park, Old Spanish Trail/Palm Center, Texas Medical Center, the University of Houston, and Texas Southern University