Around the House – November 2019

Village of Oak Lake Trash and Recycling

The following highlights some of the information provided by Best Trash regarding trash pickup in our neighborhood.  For more information visit their website at Best-Trash.com.  Our trash pickup days are Wednesday and Saturday.  Please put your trash out no earlier than the night before pickup and after collection store your containers out of sight as soon as possible.

In April 2020, Village of Oak Lake will have a shredding and recycling event at the pool.  Please look for more information in the coming months regarding this event.

What is not accepted for trash collection?

Dirt, construction debris, waste generated by a private contractor (remodeling, landscaping), rocks, motor oil, cooking oil, gasoline, bricks, tile, concrete, liquid paint, fertilizer, chemicals, tires.

What size trash container can I use?         

Trash cans have been provided to each home and need to be between 30 and 50 gallons in size.

Can I place my trash out in trash bags?

Yes, you may place your household trash out in bags for collection. Please limit it to no more than 40 lbs.

What if my Best Trash can is lost or stolen?

If your Best Trash can has been lost or stolen please call 281-313-2378.

How does curbside trash collection work?

For residents that have curbside trash collection, everything is placed on the curb near the street. Please place your trash no less than 3 feet from the curb.  Please ensure that there is at least 4 feet of space all around for the trash to be collected.  Please do not block any trash with a vehicle or trailer.  All trash needs to be out by 7 a.m. on your collection day.

Do you collect tree limbs?

Yes, we can pick up tree branches, shrubs and brush trimmings, but they need to be properly tied and bundled. All tied bundles must be less than 40 pounds and no greater than 4 feet in length with no branch diameter exceeding 3 inches. These requirements allow for easier pick up and prevent damage to our equipment. Please limit to no more than 10 tied bundles at a time.  Please do not fill your trashcan with the limbs that are longer than 4 feet.

Do you collect fence pickets or lumber?

Yes, all wood, fence pickets and lumber needs to be tied and bundled less than 40 pounds and no greater than 4 feet in length with all nails either hammered down or removed. We cannot collect any fence posts with concrete. These requirements allow for easier pick up and prevent damage to our equipment. Please limit to no more than 10 tied bundles at a time.

Do you pick up carpet?

Yes, we can collect up to 1 room of carpet.  Carpet must be rolled and tied in bundles no longer than 4 feet in length and no more than 40 pounds and placed on the curb.  The same applies to the carpet padding as well.

Is there a limit on yard debris bags?

Yes, we will collect up to 10 bags, not heavier than 40 lbs., per pickup day.  If you have more than what we can take, we will split it between collection days until fully collected.

Do you pick up appliances or furniture?

Yes, we can collect large items, but no more than two on a collection day. Please place your large item at the curb on collection day prior to 7am.

Do you pick up mattresses and box springs?

Yes, we can collect both the mattress and box springs, but no more than two each collection day. Please place your mattress and box springs at the curb on collection day.  Yes, we do collect King and Queen sized mattresses.

Do you pick up refrigerators and/or freezers?

Yes, we can pick up refrigerators and freezers, but they must be drained of freon first. By Federal Law, refrigerators and freezers or any other items containing freon must be drained and have an accompanying bill to validate such service was performed. Please attach the validation bill to the item before placing it at the curb for collection.

Do you pick up hazardous waste or household cleaners?

We cannot collect hazardous waste, please visit your county’s household hazardous waste facility for proper disposal options.

Fort Bend County: Hazardous Waste Recycling   

Do you pick up Christmas trees?

Yes, you may set your Christmas tree to the curb on either service day for collection.

Excluded items:

Items excluded from normal collection are dirt, rocks, bricks, tile, concrete, tires, batteries, motor oil, cooking oil, waste generated by a private contractor or any materials or items deemed hazardous materials.   Please do not dispose of gasoline, motor oil, paints, cooking oil, or any other liquid items in a container that is not visible to contractor personnel.  If it results in spillage, that causes a stain, Best Trash is not responsible for the clean-up.

Items not listed?

Please contact our office at 281-313-2378 or email customerservice@besttrashtexas.com.

What can be recycled?

Here is a list of all the items that Best Trash accepts for recycling. All recycled items should be dry, empty, clean and loose:

Paper

Newspapers and inserts, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, envelopes, file folders, white and colored office or computer paper, corrugated cardboard, cereal and gift boxes, paper bags, phone books, wrapping paper, milk cartons, juice cartons, wax-coated boxes.

Metal

Aluminum cans, aluminum foil, aluminum foil plates and serving containers, metal food cans and can lids, pots and pans.

Glass

Clear and colored.

Plastic

Plastic bottles, jars, tubs and buckets (such as soda, water, milk, juice, liquor, shampoo, detergent, condiments, salad dressing, yogurt, margarine, pet food, etc).

How to use recycling container:

In order to provide the most environmentally responsible service, Best Trash provides each residence with one recycling bin or cart. Place your recyclable items within the provided recycling bin. Please remove caps, liquids and food products from inside the containers. If items exceed container capacity, please place them adjacent to bin well marked as recycling. Please only use the recycle bins for recyclable materials, not as an extra trash container.

What if I have too much recycling for container?

We are happy to collect your additional recycling material. Please place the additional recycling in a bag, box or container clearly labeled “RECYCLE” next to your regular recycling container.

Items not accepted for recycling:

Tree Branches, grass, leaves and foliage are not accepted for recycle.  Clothes and wire hangers are not accepted for recycle.  Mirrors, windows, light bulbs are not accepted for recycle.  Batteries are not recyclable and can be taken to Batteries Plus locations.  Paint and solvent materials and containers are not recyclable.

Around the House – August 2019

Bandit Signs and Littering

Texas Transportation Code
Chapter 393. Outdoor Signs On Public Rights-Of-Way

Sec. 393.0025. Municipal Authority to Regulate Sign Placement.

(a) A person may not place a sign on the right-of-way of a road or highway maintained by a municipality unless the placement is authorized by the municipality.

(b) This section does not apply to the right-of-way of a road or highway in the state highway system.

Signs posted along roadways, commonly referred to as bandit signs, have been a problem for many incorporated and unincorporated areas of Fort Bend County for years. Bandit signs can be seen posted along roadways, nailed to utility poles or on stakes in the median, and usually advertise for services.

The general rule of thumb is the shoulder of the road to the center of the street is classified as county property and therefore, signs can be removed from these areas. If you are a homeowner in Village of Oak Lake and you notice signs posted along West Airport, please help us remove them and keep our neighborhood clutter free.

If you are a homeowner in Village of Oak Lake who still has a roofing sign in your yard, please remove it and dispose of it properly. Signs such as these are against our deed restrictions and should be removed as soon as possible.

Littering

Each year, nearly 435 million pieces of visible litter accumulate on Texas roadways. Not only is roadside litter unsightly, it can also negatively impact the environment. You can help keep our roadways looking beautiful by ensuring that all of your waste ends up in the trash can or recycling bin. Interesting fact: If every person in Texas picked up just two pieces of trash every month, our highways would be completely litter-free in just one year.

What is Litter?

Any trash that is not disposed of properly in a trash can is considered to be litter. When it is placed in a trash can, it becomes garbage, but anywhere else, it is litter. These items are not always thought of as litter:

  • Cigarette butts – they may be small, but they are still litter.
  • Apple cores and other food items – even though they will decompose over time, food items should not be thrown into the environment.
  • Trash that accidentally flies out of a car window or truck bed – littering does not have to be an intentional act.

Avoid Littering Penalties

In Texas, littering is against the law. Yet, one in four Texans admits to littering in the past year. You can be fined up to $500 for trash less than or equal to five pounds or five gallons. Repeat offenders can face a fine of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail. Also, failing to cover your pickup-truck load is against the law and carries a fine of up to $200.

Don’t Be a Litterbug

Before you hit the road, do your part to reduce litter by making a plan for managing your waste.

  • Keep a litter bag in your car. Hang on to your trash until you find a garbage receptacle or reach your destination.
  • Do not throw any trash out of your vehicle windows. If you plan to roll down the windows to get some fresh air, make sure that all trash and loose items inside the vehicle are secured.
  • If you are driving a truck, cover any open loads and do not throw loose trash in the truck bed. This can easily blow out onto the roadway as you are driving.
  • Travel with reusable water bottles and consider buying your road trip snacks in bulk. This reduces the risk of individual packages and single-serve containers accidentally becoming roadside litter.
  • When you walk your dog, please carry a plastic bag and pick up after it. Dog waste can lead to health issues in humans and cause problems for fish and wildlife in water bodies. And please do not throw dog waste in a storm drain.

How You Can Help

When you are out walking and enjoying the sunshine carry a plastic bag with you and pick up trash you find along the way. Dispose of it properly when you get back home. If you notice trash blown out of your recycling bin or garbage can on trash days, please pick it up and dispose of it properly.

Teach your children it is not appropriate to throw trash on the ground and ask them to pick up anything they have dropped or thrown down.

If you notice a lot of litter, such as at the entrance to the park or along the walking path, ask your friends and/or family to help you with clean up. Village of Oak Lake does not pay for litter clean up. We have two clean up days scheduled each year to help control the litter in our neighborhood and it is done by volunteers and homeowners. Please consider joining us on the next clean-up day. Specific date and time will be announced soon.

Take Care of Texas.Org

Around the House – July 2019

BBB GENERAL ADVICE FOR CHOOSING A ROOFING COMPANY

Below are some useful guidelines provided by the Better Business Bureau to assist you in choosing a contractor to replace your roof.

A legitimate roofing company should be able to provide the following:

  • Local references and roofing testimonials
  • Business license
  • Roofing credentials
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Written manufacturer warranties

When choosing a roofing company/contractor:

  • Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Verify the track record of any roofer, builder or contractor you are thinking of hiring. Ask for a list of recent customers and call them.
  • Get recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, insurance agents or claims adjusters. Also check with the local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you are considering.
  • Take your time about signing a contract. Get a written estimate that includes any oral promises the contractor makes. Remember to ask if there is a charge for an estimate before allowing anyone into your home. Ask for explanations for price variations, and do not automatically choose the lowest bidder. Get a copy of the final, signed contract before the job begins.
  • Resist dealing with any contractor who asks you to pay for the entire job up-front. A deposit of one-third of the total price is standard procedure. Pay only by check or credit card – and pay the final amount only after the work is completed to your satisfaction. Do not pay cash.
  • Be skeptical of contractors who encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs. Make sure there is enough money for permanent repairs.
  • Ask a knowledgeable friend, relative or attorney to review a home repair contract before you sign. If you get a loan to pay for the work, be cautious about using your home as security. If you do not repay the loan as agreed, you could lose your home. Consider asking an attorney to review the loan documents as well.
  • Be careful of any company that uses door-to-door sales or leaves a flier on your doorknob or in your mailbox, promising insurance compensation for repairs.
  • Phrases to watch out for: “insurance companies are compensating” and “most homeowners are unaware of the storm damage to their roof.”
  • Make sure to get verification of a hailstorm in your neighborhood. The National Weather Service or your neighbors are good independent sources.
  • If there was a storm, find out how large the hailstones were. It usually takes hail at least 1¼ inches in diameter to cause damage, with golf ball size or larger causing serious damage.
  • The homeowner should be aware of which way the storm was moving. Many homes have roofs with various angles or pitches which means the angles facing the storm would receive the most damage.
  • Hail damage is random. Unscrupulous repair companies may use a teaspoon, small rocks or hammers to fabricate damage.

If a storm has been verified:

  • Do not be rushed into signing a contract with a particular company. Get business cards and ask for written estimates for the work.
  • Beware of a company that puts emphasis on how the homeowner can get a new roof paid for by the insurance company.
  • Talk to your insurance agent and ask for advice on how to proceed in getting repairs made. Keep receipts for temporary repairs.
  • Investigate the track record of any roofer or contractor you consider hiring. Look for companies with a good reputation in your community. Call your Better Business Bureau for help, get references and do not give anyone a deposit until you are sure they are reputable.

Replacing Skylights:

The most convenient and affordable time to replace a skylight is when you are installing a new roof.  By replacing your skylights when you replace your roof, you will save money in the long run and ensure you will not be paying for a new roof twice.  You can also take advantage of the new energy efficient models (solar powered options) and increase the thermal comfort of your home with natural ventilation.