News conference video includes a COVID-19 pandemic update and the anti-litter campaign announcement on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Mayor Sylvester Turner joined several city council members and community and neighborhood groups to announce an anti-litter campaign to encourage Houstonians to properly dispose of face masks, gloves, sanitizer wipes, and other trash.

“Don’t Let Houston Go to Waste” and “Litter is Trashy” are two of the slogans that will remind people to keep Houston clean by throwing all used items in trash cans and dumpsters. The signs also encourage everyone to do the ‘PPE123.”

  • Wear PPE and social distance
  • Dispose of your PPE appropriately
  • STOP THE SPREAD

“The use of proper personal protective equipment, like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, is critically important in the fight against the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Turner said. “But we have a PPE litter problem. Houston is not alone. Cities across the nation are experiencing unbelievable amounts of PPE litter on streets and sidewalks.”

The mayor named Vice Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Castex Tatum to lead the citywide anti-litter campaign.

“We have to sound the alarm and encourage Houstonians to join us. We have all noticed the significant increase in litter around our city,” said Castex-Tatum. “We must address the uptick in illegal dumping in our parks and streets because COVID waste is being washed into our storm drains and waterways.”

“Litter is 100 percent preventable,” said Amy Reed, executive director of Keep Houston Beautiful.”It might seem like only one glove that hit the ground or one mask that flew away. Don’t trash our city. This is our home, and we want to keep it the cleanest and greenest.”

The anti-litter campaign also targets illegal dumping, which has increased during the pandemic.

“These things can clog the drains and clog inlets,” said Public Works Director Carol Haddock. “They can contribute to flooding when we have the next rainstorm.”

“My community spends thousands of dollars every year cleaning up illegal dumping and litter,” said Super Neighborhood Alliance Vice-Chair, Philip Salerno. “I look forward to working with the mayor and city council on this initiative, so let’s keep Houston clean and remember, litter is trashy.”

  • The following organizations and agencies will join Mayor Turner and Vice-Mayor Castex Tatum in supporting the anti-litter campaign.
    • Solid Waste Management Department
    • Houston Parks & Recreation Department
    • Keep Houston Beautiful
    • Houston Public Works Department
    • Department of Neighborhoods
    • Houston Airport System
    • Houston Police Department
    • Houston First Corporation
    • Houston Apartment Association
    • Greater Houston Partnership
    • TIRZs and Management Districts
    • METRO
    • Retailers Associations (Texas and Greater Houston)

Contact:

Mary Benton
Director of Communications
Office: 832.393.0830
Mobile: 713.208.6229
Mary.Benton@houstontx.gov

Ada Ortega
Press Secretary
Office: 832-393-0800
Mobile: 832-547-3240
Ada.Ortega@houstontx.gov

Tejal Patel
Public Information Officer/Deputy Press Secretary
Office: 832.393.0808
Mobile: 832.459.9706
Tejal.Patel@houstontx.gov