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More on the Heights recycling center

I’d been wondering what the deal was with the proposal to move the neighbhorhood recycling location from Center Street to somewhere in the First Ward when I heard about it last week. There was supposed to be a town hall meeting to discuss it, but that it got cancelled with an announcement that a deal had been reached to leave the existing center in place. Via Swamplot, here’s a Chron story with an explanation of what this was all about.

At a recent meeting with the Super Neighborhood 22 Council, Harold Hayes, director of the city’s Solid Waste Management Department, said the recycling center has outgrown the facility, even if improvements are made. Admiral Linen, which owns property next door, offered to purchase and renovate the Center Street site, he said.

The department looked at several new sites before choosing a one-acre site [at 1904] Spring Street, Hayes said. He described the proposed new location as an industrial area that would provide better access from Interstate 10, covered areas for the dumpsters and space to add an educational park for children.

But residents in Houston’s First Ward dispute that the area will remain industrial. They say it’s transitioning to residential and soon won’t be compatible with roll-off trucks or glass-grinding trucks coming in to pick up the recyclables. They also wonder if traffic to the center would interfere with the MKT hike and bike trail next to it.

“At one time, this was largely an industrial area,” said Patrick McIlvain, vice president of the First Ward Civic Council. “But as the tax base has gotten higher, industries are moving out and residences are moving in.”

It’s true, there are residences being built on and around Spring Street. There are also now residences on Center Street near the existing location, but they’re on the other side of Admiral Linen, and the recycling center was there first. It’s too bad the Spring Street location wasn’t workable, as the proposed facility sounded a lot better than what’s on Center Street. However, if there’s a workable alternative, as the First Ward folks suggest, then hopefully it will be as good. I look forward to hearing about it.

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One Comment

  1. Tom D says:

    The Harvard @ Center, just off Washington Ave & Heights, is a much more accessible location. It is more central to the drop-off center’s service area than the proposed location on Spring would have been. In spite of the proposed Spring location’s proximity to IH10, actual approach to that site would have been via an assortment of narrow neighborhood streets with possible waits at two railroad crossings. Admiral Linen sought to purchase the city owned property to increase their parking space. A workable and logical alternative, preferred by the SN 22 Council, would be for the COH to retain the Harvard property and develop structured parking on the site. The recycling drop-off center could remain on the ground level, income could be assured through a lease agreement with Admiral to provide for their parking needs, and the remainder of the garage space could additionally generate income by making available much needed parking for the nearby businesses. If a W/Ave District trolley or circulator service were initiated, a parking garage at this central location could help mitigate parking problems for businesses and residents along the entire corridor.