Firewood transported into the state may harbor an army of invasive
insects and diseases, with the potential to destroy our forest resources. For example, it is possible that the invasive soapberry borer, Agrilus prionurus, arrived in Texas in
firewood brought in from Mexico. This insect has been found killing western soapberry trees in
50 counties in Texas since it was first discovered in Travis county in 2003.
Of particular concern is potential long-distance
movement of firewood that may harbor non-native invasive pests already established in
limited regions of the United States. The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis),
established in the northeast, and the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), now distributed
among 18 states, are prime examples of candidates that are major threats for long-distance
movement via firewood.
To make sure invasive insects are not spread on firewood, use firewood from local sources. Don't take firewood with you on your camping trip, RV adventure, or to your hunting camp. Don't bring firewood back from your second home to your place in the suburbs. Instead, burn it where you buy it. A good rule of thumb is only using wood that was cut within 50 miles of where you'll have your fire.
Learn more at Don'tMoveFirewood.org.
TCEQ Releases New Summary of Municipal Solid Waste Management
Owners and operators of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills and other waste management facilities submit an annual report to the TCEQ, detailing the amount and types of solid waste managed at each facility. The annual summary for Sept. 1, 2013 - Aug. 31, 2014 was recently released.
In 2014, total disposal of MSW in the state was approximately 32.37 million tons. Using the state population estimate of 26,956,958, the landfill disposal rate in Texas was 6.58 pounds per person per day, which is slightly above the 2013 rate of 6.33 pounds. During this period, the state’s population increased 1.9%.
The total remaining MSW landfill capacity in the state at
the end of 2014 was 2.87 billion cubic yards. Based on reported compaction
rates, this volume would hold 1.94 billion tons of waste and serve for 60 years. Read the entire
report and reports from previous years.
Planning to shop on Black Friday?
Don't forget to BYOB!
Don't Bag It - Compost It!
Organic landscape materials, including leaves, wood trimmings, and grass clippings often contribute significantly to a communities’ annual solid waste. During peak leafdrop in fall when residents are bagging and placing leaves at the curbside, organic materials may account for as much as 50 percent of the incoming landfill volume.
The irony is that, with the exception of large woody brush, residents can recycle all their organic materials right in their own yards through composting, mulching, and grasscycling. By recycling these materials, we’re not just saving our landfill space but also improving our home environment. Organic matter adds valuable nutrients back to the soil, improves the condition of our soils, helps insulate the soil from temperature extremes, and helps plants survive dry periods by holding moisture in our soil.
Watch our video, "How
to Start Composting in Your Own Back Yard," where Travis County Master
Gardener Patricia Mokry explains various simple ways to begin to compost. Learn
more about leaf management through Texas A&M AgriLife's Earth-Kind