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Resources on Managing Municipal Solid Waste

This web page provides local government leaders, nonprofit organizations, and Texans with information that will help in the fight against litter and illegal dumping.

Planning and Funding for Municipal Solid Waste

Managing municipal solid waste (MSW) is a cooperative effort involving federal, state, regional, and local entities. Here are some resources to help in planning and funding this effort.

  • Municipal Solid Waste in Texas: A Year in Review – Each year TCEQ publishes an annual summary of the MSW reports submitted by owners and operators of MSW landfills and other waste management facilities (TCEQ publication AS-187).
  • Regional Grants for Solid Waste Management – TCEQ provides annual grants to the state's 24 regional councils of government (COGs). The COGs use this money to fund local governments’ activities for solid waste management projects that help implement the regional solid-waste management plans.
    The COGs can assist you with your MSW management concerns and planning. COGs also can help you in developing projects that are eligible for grant funding. For more information, contact your local COG. The Texas Association of Regional Councils lists contact information on its website
  • Decision Makers' Guide to Solid Waste Management – This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide provides technical and economic information for solid waste management practitioners, such as local government officials, facility owners and operators, consultants, and regulatory agency specialists.
  • North American Development Bank Community Assistance Program – The North American Development Bank’s Community Assistance Program (CAP) administers infrastructure grants for public projects in all environmental sectors, including solid waste. The project sponsor must contribute at least 10% of the total project cost in the form of cash. Projects must be sponsored by a public entity and located within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the U.S.–Mexico border.
  • Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) – This TCEQ-sponsored program is designed to prevent or reduce pollution, enhance the quality of the environment, and contribute to public awareness of environmental matters. Funding for the SEP program comes from respondents in TCEQ enforcement actions, who are allowed to offset a fine, fee, or penalty by contributing to SEPs approved by the agency.
  • Local governments that are in enforcement may be able to apply for a special compliance SEP or C-SEP to come into compliance with environmental laws or to remediate the harm caused by those violations. The requirements for a C-SEP are available online.

Battling Illegal Dumping

To successfully address illegal dumping, communities must develop long-term comprehensive solutions.

TCEQ has developed a model approach for use in developing solutions for MSW issues. This approach focuses on developing and maintaining a program that includes the following four components:

  • Garbage collection services. Provide residents with convenient and affordable ways to dispose of their garbage, such as citizen's collection stations for rural communities.
  • Public awareness. Increase public awareness on the health and safety hazards of illegal dumping and available legal options for garbage disposal. Keep Texas Beautiful
  • Cleanup of existing dumps. Clean up illegal dump sites to discourage other dumpers, who are attracted to these existing sites, and to improve the community's awareness of the problem.
  • Enforcement. Increase public awareness about illegal dumping by raising the visibility of local illegal activities and the stiff penalties that offenders can receive.
  • Illegal Dumping Prevention Guidebook (EPA; 1998)
  • Don’t Mess with Texas Water Program – TCEQ, TxDOT, and participating local communities are working together to help prevent illegal dumping that could contaminate surface waters in Texas.

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MSW Collection and Other Services

  • Managing Municipal Solid Waste Through General and Special Law Districts – This TCEQ Web page provides general information on options available to certain districts for providing garbage collection services to customers.
  • Pay-As-You-Throw Tool Kit – This EPA online resource helps local communities consider, design, and implement pay-as-you-throw programs. Included is information about unit pricing and ideas on reducing waste and recycling MSW.
  • Recycling – TCEQ encourages reuse and recycling whenever practical. This website provides information to help you do your part.
  • Composting – This page offers technical assistance and information on composting efforts across the state.
  • Monofills - This TCEQ Web page provides information for small counties and municipalities with a population of 12,000 people or less to dispose of nuisance or abandoned buildings under a permit by rule (PBR) provided specific conditions are met.

Public Awareness and Education

Public awareness and education are important elements of any effort to increase public participation and manage MSW.

  • Outdoor Burning in Texas (RG-049) – This guide helps interpret the Outdoor Burning Rule, Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Sections 111.201-211, for the general public, the regulated community, and state and local officials.

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Household Hazardous Waste

In addition to offering information on planning and funding for MSW, TCEQ offers communities technical assistance for household hazardous waste collections.

  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) – This website explains what HHW is, what you can do with it, and who can accept it. There are also links to the HHW Program Assistance page and Program Contacts.

Understanding Environmental Crime

Understanding how to deal with environmental crime through enforcement is another important step in the battle to prevent illegal dumping and manage MSW.

Environmental Laws

Listed below are state laws that can be used to combat environmental crimes. Each law is a link to the latest, up-to-date version that is posted on the Texas Legislature Online website.

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Small Business and Local Government Assistance

TCEQ's Small Business and Local Government Assistance section offers free, confidential help to small businesses and local governments working to follow state environmental regulations. Call us at (800) 447-2827 or visit our webpage at