City of Tomball adds garbage cart option, modifies recycling service days


A new five-year contract approved Aug. 19 between the city of Tomball and Waste Corporation of Texas—in effect from Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2024—allows residents and business owners the option of using poly cart containers or continuing the current bagged service. This is the first time the city has offered the choice of poly carts, which are plastic, for garbage and recycling service, Public Works Director Beth Jones said.

“They’ll be able to use the WCA poly cart, or they can still put their bags out, but it’s one or the other,” Jones said. “We’re pretty excited about being able to offer both services. So if you want a poly cart, you can get a poly cart and start using that, or you can stay with the bags.”

Tomball City Council members approved changes to the city’s garbage collection and disposal service rates during an Oct. 7 meeting. According to an Oct. 4 letter to residents, the rate for residential garbage collection remains the same at $15.70 per month if using the current bagged service for trash and the 18-gallon recycle bin.

The option of using poly cart containers comes at an additional cost, according to city information. For one poly cart, the monthly fee totals $18.70, and poly carts for both garbage and recycling services total $21.70. An additional poly cart may be added for $3 per cart per month. Residents may choose from 65- and 95-gallon poly carts for garbage and recycling services.

“If you decide to do a poly cart for the trash, then you need to use the poly cart. You don’t pile up bags next to it in addition. But if you’re a big trash user and you’d like to get a second trash poly cart, we offer that option,” Jones said.

According to city information, poly cart collection will begin Nov. 18, although residents may receive poly carts before then. Jones said she anticipates customers receiving poly carts in early November. To request the carts, residents must complete an order form, which can be found on the city’s website. Order form collection will be ongoing throughout the year with carts delivered on a first-come, first-served basis, Jones said.

The biggest change comes to the city’s recycling service, Jones said. Recycling collection routes will change Nov. 18, splitting the city between two recycling collection days. Instead of recycling collection occurring on Mondays for the whole city, residents north of FM 2920 will be serviced on Mondays, and residents south of FM 2920 will be serviced on Thursdays.

Garbage collection will continue on Mondays and Thursdays. Heavy trash will also still be collected on Thursdays, Jones said. Residents can request a special collection at an additional charge for combined bulk waste and brush in excess of 2 cubic yards per week, according to city information.

City information advises residents to place the closed poly carts at least 3 feet apart near the curb or no more than 3 feet from the curb or roadside. Carts must be put out for collection no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before pickup and removed no later than 10 p.m. on collection day.

Should residents need assistance placing their bags or carts out for collection, the city offers a Citizens Assistance Program. Residents must complete the doctor-signed form to be eligible for this program.

More information about the city’s residential garbage and recycling services can be found on the city’s website.

For businesses, garbage collection and disposal service rates increase Nov. 18, according to an Oct. 4 letter to commercial customers.

The full master fee schedule outlining garbage and disposal service fees can be found here.

“There was definite citizen request and desire to do [the poly carts]. The challenge was that there were also lots of citizen requests to stay with bags—both felt passionately—and really trying to find a solution that made everybody happy,” Jones said.

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Anna Lotz
Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.
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