On Feb. 8, members of Houston City Council authorized a contract with DRC Emergency Services to aid the city's Solid Waste Management Department with the collection of heavy trash, bulk and junk waste.

The contract is for three years of services and totals just under $8 million, $840,000 of which is designated for fiscal year 2022-23.

Illegal dumping has occurred throughout the city of Houston.

Some council members, such as District H's Karla Cisneros and District I's Robert Gallegos, said they have purchased infrared cameras from Constable Alan Rosen's office to catch offenders.

At-large Council Member Sallie Alcorn said this is just one of various solid waste contracts the city has authorized.

"The city of Houston continues to spend millions and millions of dollars in this category," Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "It is important for the people do their part."

While there are myriad reasons why people illegally dump waste, Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum said the primary reason is associated with cost.

Some council members also expressed a need for increasing the penalty for illegal dumping. District B Council Member Tarsha Jackson said one offender in her district lacked the adequate permitting for their business, but they were not able to address that while handling the dumping crime.

At the meeting, Turner called on citizens to "take pride in the city of Houston." He said people invest in what they take pride in, and, over the years, the city has contributed to an undervaluing of these communities.