Debris Placement & Collection: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. My home was damaged or received water during the recent flooding and storms. What steps should I take to handle the damages and the debris?
    1. First, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim.
    2. You should also document your property damage(s) by taking photographs.
    3. You should contact the Houston 311 customer center to notify the city of your damage(s). This will help identify your address and area as needing debris collection service.


  1. Is there a particular manner that my debris should be placed at the curb?
    1. Yes, debris should be separated as follows and placed away from any obstruction/impediments (mailboxes, fire hydrants, water meters, etc.):
      1. Normal household trash goes in your black garbage container.  It will be collected by the City on your normal garbage service day.
      2. Vegetative Debris (Logs and Trees) should be place separately in a stacked pile. Limbs/trunks and branches should be cut to 36” lengths.
      3. Construction & Demolition Material should be place in its own pile.  This type of debris includes building materials, carpet/padding, furniture, treated lumber, mattresses, etc.
      4. White Goods (Appliances) should be placed separately and their doors secured with tape (to protect kids).  White goods include refrigerators, freezers, stoves, washers, dryers and water heaters.
      5. v. Electronics should be placed together. E-waste includes computers, stereos, televisions or other items with a cord.
      6. vi. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) should be placed together. HHW includes batteries, oils, lawn chemicals, pesticides and cleaning supplies.
    2. Further information and instruction for debris placement can be found at, or the Solid Waste Management Department’s Facebook page.




  1. My garbage/yard waste/Recycling was not collected due to the storm. When will the city return?
    1. Current schedules and restrictions for collection post Hurricane Harvey can be found here.


  1. Are Neighborhood Depositories sites available to me if I’d like to get rid of my own debris or uncollected recycling?
    1. Yes. Any Houston resident can use a Neighborhood Depository & Recycling Center. The depository sites will be open 7 days per week.  A notice of the effective date of the extra days is posted at
    2. Residents who use the depositories simply need to show an ID and utility bill as proof of residency for service.


  1. Is there somewhere I can take my Household Hazardous Waste if I don’t want to wait for City crews to come by for collection?
    1. Yes. Any City of Houston resident can take Household Hazardous Waste to the City’s Environmental Service Center at 11500 South Post Oak.  Current hours and a list of acceptable items can be found here.


  1. When does the City begin debris collection operations?
    1. Collections will begin as soon as the City’s plans are accepted by the State Department of Emergency Management.  Typically, debris operations begin after the receipt of a disaster declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).  A request for the disaster declaration has been made to FEMA by the Governor’s office.


  1. My container floated away during the flood period. How do I get another one?
    1. Please contact 311 (713.837.0311 or to report your lost container.  The department will deliver a replacement within 5 – 7 business days.


  1. I live in an apartment complex and was flooded. What should I do with my debris?
    1. As this is a commercial property, it is the responsibility of your owner/management company to make provisions for the collection and removal of debris.


  1. My business flooded what should I do?
    1. You should contact your insurance agent and file a claim for remediation. A part of your claim would include any debris demolition and removal.


  1. How can I get assistance with cleaning up?
    1. If you need assistance cleaning up after a major disaster, you may reach out to Crisis Cleanup by calling 1.800.451.1954 or visiting