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CITY RESIDENTS DISPOSED OF OVER 200 TIRES IN ONE-DAY TRASH-O-RAMA
The number of community members disposing of bulky waste at the free municipal collection site and on special Trash-o-Rama days in Cotulla has increased, and tire disposal is running into the hundreds, according to City Hall.
In brief reports to the city council this month, Robbie Thomas and Mel Martinez told councilors that the trash collection day at Plaza Florita in June had amassed several roll-off containers of metal, appliances, furniture, construction debris and other waste. The total weight, according to Martinez in the city’s sanitation department, exceeded 30.8 tons.
The June 10 tally for the Trash-o-Rama, Martinez said, was at least three tons more than was dropped off at the collection day in March.
Thomas, supervisor in the streets and parks department, told councilors that local residents dropped off more than 200 tires at the plaza on the special free disposal day and that several containers full of tires have already been loaded at the municipal waste station beside FM 624.
Trash-o-Rama days are held on several Saturdays in the year at the plaza and give the public an opportunity to dispose of bulky waste that cannot be collected by routine domestic garbage service. Materials are offloaded from trucks and trailers by city crews; residents do not need to unload their own waste or leave their vehicles.
City Administrator David Wright joined Thomas in supporting the free tire disposal service as part of the city’s ongoing efforts at beautification and neighborhood clean-up.
City residents with utility bills can also drop off bulky waste and tires at the municipal station on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“For a long time, the city did not accept tires, and then we were seeing them all over town, wherever people would dump them,” Wright said at the July 13 council meeting. “Now we are accepting them and we are starting to see more of a clean-up.”
Wright and Thomas also noted that tire removal helps rid neighborhoods of objects that may become habitats for wild animals as well as mosquitos.
Councilors learned that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulates the amount of discarded tires that may be held at any municipal collection site. Thomas confirmed that four trailer loads of tires had already been removed from Cotulla’s waste station and two more containers were going to be filled.
City work crews have begun collecting tree limbs from brush piles in residential service alleys when homeowners cut and stack the discarded branches in a manner that facilitates pick-up.
Thomas’ department is also responsible for the demolition of abandoned or derelict houses in Cotulla, following a renewed council directive that action be taken to rid neighborhoods of structures that are declared a public nuisance, pose a hazard, or may become havens for wild animals or criminal activity. Thomas has reported demolishing at least one structure per month since the council shortlisted more than a dozen properties for removal last year.
While the city may declare an abandoned or derelict property ready for demolition and attach a fee for the job to any outstanding taxes due on the property at a future sale in the form of a lien, city residents may also pay to have Thomas’ crew remove unwanted buildings. The most recent demolition paid for by a city resident took place in the 900 block of Live Oak Street last month.