Administration and Finance Focus


April 2009
August 2011
Employee Spotlight –
Angelar Jackson

Student Spotlight –
Suong Le

Events Calendar


Copy Center
New Wide Format Printer on Campus at the University Copy Center

Cullen Performance Hall
Behind the Scenes: Tina Newhauser Joins CPH

Become a CPH
Facebook Fan

Faculty/Staff $5 Fridays Take on a New Tradition

UH Dining Services Managers Recognized for Leadership

Starbucks Treat Receipts July 18-Sept. 5

Summer Hours of Operation Aug. 8-21

HUB Statistics

Sales Tax Holiday

Surplus Property Services

August 2011 Clean-Up

Green UH
Leading the Sustainability Charge

Urban Harvest

Save the Date:
Sign up for Move-in Day on Aug. 19-20

Dorms vs. Residence Halls

Human Resources
PeopleAdmin (OJS)

Immigration Website Launched

Impact UH- Executive Excellence Series

New discounts on upcoming events for UH employees

Parking and Transportation

2012 Parking Forecast

Additional Parking Lots Available

Plant Operations
Wheeler Reconstruction Traffic Impacts

Public Safety
Security Kiosks are Up and Ready

Staff Council Pride

UHDPS Recycles

Quick Tip: For enrollment services questions, students can call 713/743-1010.

If you have comments or would like to submit an article to future newsletters, contact Lindsay Blagg at by the 20th of each month.



Improving Your Yard and Your City
By Recycling Yard Wastes
By Bob Randall

In our house, we only put out the trash every 6-8 weeks! We have curbside recycling and every three months take glass, food cartons and plastic bags to places that recycle them. But a main reason we don’t use the trash service much is that we recycle all of our yard wastes and kitchen food wastes.

Home and business owners produce a lot of plant wastes and kitchen scraps that can more easily be recycled on most lots than they can in a landfill. It is fairly easy to recycle lawn clippings, leaves, branches, logs, Christmas trees, kitchen scraps, and coffee grounds. Even though the City of Houston collects yard debris, you won’t need to buy bags, bag leaves, or pay for someone to bag them if you compost your leaves, yard clippings along with your kitchen waste.

Recycled yard and kitchen wastes improve the clay soil dramatically nature’s way within a few years. Your plants will grow better with less water because the clay particles will glue together into topsoil thus encouraging rain and irrigation to soak in and providing oxygen for root health. The surface organic matter will insulate the soil from surface heat, and organisms that decompose the organic matter will share their remains and wastes with the plants. Such organic wastes are expensive if purchased as compost or mulches so throwing them out is really extravagant.

Most people cut their lawn too often at too short a height. Mowing is a form of plant surgery so it damages the grass blades. For a healthy lawn, only mow when it is becoming unsightly and never mow on a schedule. In hot weather avoid mowing before late afternoon.
If you mow at 3 inches, you need to cut off only 1.5 inches every two weeks or in dry weather—longer so as to not damage the grass. Authorities nationwide believe that this height and schedule are best for lawns. This taller lawn will be much greener, healthier, need much less water, require many fewer mowings, create less noise and air pollution and be less work and cost. For obvious reasons, many lawn services dislike such infrequent visits, and may have difficulty mowing on an as-needed basis. But if you require it, some will do this.

If you are in the habit of bagging clippings, longer grass will make the bagging more difficult. However, if you don’t bag the clippings and just mulch the clippings where they fall, they will decompose quickly and return the nutrients to the lawn where they are needed.

Falling leaves and branches are nature’s way of providing water-conserving soil-cooling mulch under the tree and calories for the microbes that provide nitrogen and other nutrients to the tree roots. Leaf mold is the single best and most expensive soil amendment you can buy in quantity! Thus if at all possible, let leaves and small branches stay where they fall.
If that isn’t possible then mow the leaves and small branches to break them up and let them rot in place. If you must remove them, put them a few inches thick under other trees or shrubs. Cut the bigger branches and logs with saw, loppers, machete or shears until everything is in small flat pieces or is long and straight. Tuck the small pieces discretely under shrubs in out-of-the-way places to rot. Use straight logs as edgings on garden paths or for beds and hide big logs under low lying shrubs. Christmas trees get the same treatment.

Most garden weeds should be used the same way as mulch under shrubs and trees. They can also be put in a compost pile as long as they aren’t large or have long-lived roots like nutgrass and Bermuda grass.

If you would like to learn how to build your own compost bin, consider the Urban Harvest class on November 12th - Hands On: Backyard Composting & Maintaining Healthy Soil at the Westbury Community Garden.

Bob Randall, Ph.D. retired in 2008 as Executive Director of Urban Harvest and is the author of Year Round Vege-tables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro-Houston. Contact him at

Learn about gardening classes and more at or phone 713-880-5540.