AUSTIN (KXAN) — Video taken on Monday showed people digging through dumpsters left behind by TxDOT cleanup crews in Austin. This was after the department restarted their cleanups under highways at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott.
TxDOT Public Information Officer Diann Hodges said those dumpsters were gone on Tuesday, but said they were left there because they don’t actually pick up and drop off the dumpsters, people they contract with do.
“We use those for what they are, to get rid of the debris that is no longer wanted and our intent is to pick them up as quickly as possible,” said Hodges.
She said on Tuesday that even though some people were digging things out, the dumpsters helped because it allowed people to throw unwanted items away.
“We know that they don’t always have an opportunity to throw things away so it was an opportunity for them to go ahead and throw out whatever it was they no longer wanted,” she added. “It’s helpful, there’s a lot of stuff and not everybody wants to keep everything that they’ve collected.”
Hodges didn’t know if going forward crews would continue using the dumpsters, but said they will continue to weigh what the need is and decide from there.
TxDOT explained that they cleaned one location Monday on SH 71 and cleaned seven locations Tuesday along I-35. the other locations TxDOT plans to clean are along SH 71 and US 182.
“The current plan once cleanups this week are complete is to return on a weekly basis unless otherwise directed by the governor,” said Hodges in an email.