Solid Waste Sites and the Black Houston Community*


  • *

    Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Sociological Association, March 17–20, 1982, San Antonio, Texas.


This paper presents data on the siting of solid waste facilities in one of the nation's fastest growing cities, Houston, Texas. The findings reveal that solid waste sites were not randomly scattered over the Houston landscape but were likely to be found in predominantly black neighborhoods and near black schools. Institutionalized discrimination in the housing market, lack of zoning, and decisions by public officials over the past fifty years are major factors that have contributed to Houston's black neighborhoods becoming the “dumping ground” for the area's solid waste.