Solid Waste Management Department


City of Houston 

Mark Wilfalk, Director
Solid Waste Management Dept.
Sylvester Turner, Mayor
City of Houston


October 15, 2007 - The City of Houston will begin enforcement of a new ordinance passed on April 25, 2007, regarding the placement of screens around trash dumpsters, also known as bulk containers, (Ordinance No. 2007-615). The ordinance becomes effective October 22, 2007, which is 180 days after passage.

"The six month "grace period" which has run parallel with a growing period is coming to an end, which has allowed screening with bushes to occur. I hope all shopping centers and businesses have addressed how they are going to comply with this ordinance as all dumpster suppliers have been asked to notify their customers," said Council Member Toni Lawrence.

Failure to comply with the requirements of Ordinance No. 2007-615 or placing a trash dumpster on private property without first obtaining the permission of the owner or person in charge of the property is considered an offense. It is thereby, unlawful and the owner or lessee may be fined.

"Putting screens around dumpsters helps protect our neighborhoods and property values. It helps keep them cleaner and safer," said Solid Waste Management Department Director Harry Hayes.

Ordinance No. 2007-516 requires:

An owner or lessee of a property shall place or maintain a bulk container so that it is not visible from the street right-of-way on the address side of the property. A bulk container located on a service drive behind a building on said property shall not be deemed visible from the street right-of-way.

A bulk container shall be deemed visible only if it can be seen be a person who is standing at grade level on any part of the right-of-way of a public street having a right-of-way width of 40 feet or more that adjoins the address side of the property on which the bulk container is located.

An owner or lessee of property may utilize a berm, building, fence, wall, gate, shrubbery, or a combination thereof, to accomplish the screening of a bulk container from view.

accomplish the screening of a bulk container from view.

For more information, please log onto or call 3-1-1.


The Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) provides solid waste services to the citizens of Houston through the collection, disposal and recycling of discarded material in a manner that is safe, efficient, environmentally sound and cost-effective.

For more information about SWMD and our services, visit us at, “LIKE” us on Facebook at @houstonsolidwaste, follow us on Twitter @HoustonTrash. Download our app HTX Collects on Google Play or IOS Store to Never Miss an Update again!, Call 3-1-1, the City of Houston’s Customer Service Helpline.