The cost-neutral program, proposed by Houston City Council Member Sallie Alcorn as a budget amendment that passed in June, is intended to build off the momentum of an existing composting program that has been underway in the Heights since mid-April. That program was launched by local Girl Scout Monica Orozco, Zero Waste Houston and the Houston Heights Association. Orozco was recognized by Alcorn and Houston City Council on July 13, which was named "Monico Orozco Day" by the council.
The composting drop-off program gives participants a way to divert organic waste from landfills. In it's eight-week run, the program led by Orozco was estimated to have diverted roughly 4,000 pounds of waste.
The pilot program will run from Oct. 20 though Nov. 27 at three locations, including the Historic Heights Fire Station at 107 W. 12th St., Houston. The other two locations are the Kashmere Gardens Multi-Service Center at 4802 Lockwood Drive, Houston, and the Houston Botanic Garden at 1 Botanic Lane, Houston.
The composting program is free for residents to use. Materials that can be composted as part of the program include bread and grains, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags with the staple removed, dairy, egg shells, fruits and vegetables, meat and bones, nuts, seeds, seafood and shells, and food that is moldy or has been freezer burned. Other items that can be included are compostable utensils, bags and cups, newspaper, old flowers, paper napkins, wood ash, fur, hair, and nail clippings.
Participants should not include ashes, charcoal, treated wood or invasive weeds in their compost drop-offs, as well as any non-organic material, such as plastics, metals and glass.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will speak at a press conference at Hermann Square Oct. 20 to kick off the program. More information on how to participate can be found here.