Juan Cortez of  Wharton, right, and another worker assemble the new soon-to-be distributed Texas Disposal Systems polycarts Thursday on the railroad siding. The carts, off loaded from semi-trucks in stacks, were lined up on the almost block-long lot. The company was bringing roughly 4,000 in along with larger containers for businesses. Distribution is expected to start on Monday with all containers in place by the Oct. 1 contract start date.


New trash cans are arriving in El Campo, two weeks before Texas Disposal Services takes over collection duties. Meanwhile on Monday, city council will finalize the garbage contract, deciding whether all residents’ bills will rise 20 cents more per month to allow for a competitive roll-off container market.

The choice, City Manager Courtney Sladek told the Leader-News is up to council.

“Staff asks that if council revokes the exclusivity clause that additional ordinances, fee schedule changes and contracts ensure that non franchised roll off charges are equitable,” she said.

The heat was of far more concern Monday than roll-off containers as the bright green 94-gallon polycarts were pulled stack by stack from semi-trucks by Melvin Lott of Wharton Thursday morning.

It took just seconds for Juan Cortez and other temporary workers to pop on the wheels and begin lining the cans up row by row. Soon areas that a century ago may have been filled with cattle now held a proverbial herd of polycarts.

“We’re bringing in about 4,000 residential cans,” TDS Operations Manager of Sealy Justin Wolff said. “We’ll start distributing Monday.”

TDS will be dropping off only. It will be up to Waste Connections to pick up the older cans.

“It will take a couple of weeks, but we will have everything done before Oct. 1,” Wolff said.

Staff needs to be hired (a web-based process involving background checks), large containers and other materials need to be moved in and an office established.

“We do hire local, but we have an HR team. All employees have a background check and drug tests. It’s very important when coming into a community to have somebody who is not going to be a danger,” Wolff said.

El Campo residents’ trash bills will rise between $3.99 and $4.19 monthly starting in October depending on the outcome of Monday’s vote.

TDS takes over for Waste Connections, a company council clashed with several times, largely related to brush pick-up.

Waste Connections had previously had exclusivity on roll-off container sales in the city, but lost it in 2019.

The El Campo City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday in chambers, 315 E. Jackson.

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