October 15, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner has selected Mark C. Wilfalk as the new Director of the Solid Waste Management Department. Wilfalk, who has nearly three decades of experience in solid waste resource and environmental management, will join the City of Houston from Tampa, Florida.
Wilfalk has held various positions, including director and chief of operations, with Tampa's Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management. As the director, he led the organization's administrative and managerial processes to provide comprehensive collection, disposal, and environmental services to approximately 80,000 residential and commercial customers.
Mayor Turner selected Wilfalk for his ability to develop long-range planning goals to improve SWMD's organizational and operational efficiencies.
"Mark is an accomplished municipal leader with extensive experience in solid waste resources and environmental management," said Mayor Turner. "His background working with local governments in waste resource and environmental management will play a large role in our efforts to transform our Solid Waste Management Department to one that is more sustainable and environmentally sound. I am excited to welcome Mark to the City of Houston and look forward to working with him."
Before working with the City of Tampa, Wilfalk served as a Solid Waste Supervisor for Kimmins Recycling and a Waste Alternative Specialist for Alachua County Public Works. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida. He is the recipient of the 2014 Solid Waste Association of North America Excellence in Recycling Award and the 2016 Clean Cities Award for carbon emissions reduction.
Carolyn Wright, who has served as Interim Director since December 2020, will return to the role as deputy director.
"Carolyn Wright is an exceptional leader who prioritized reliable trash and recycling collections along with heavy debris removal for the citizens of Houston over the past several months," said Mayor Turner. "In addition to thanking her for leading the department while we searched for a new director, I am grateful she will continue in an executive role and assist with the transition to keep the Solid Waste Management Department moving forward."
Houston City Council will vote on Wilfalk's confirmation on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.