City of Austin
5:07 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Name That Department!

Austin is a music town, sure, but naming a city department after Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst? Why not? More than 29,000 votes have been cast to rename the City of Austin’s Solid Waste Services Department the “Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and the Arts. ” 

"You know at first we thought we need to take that down," said Jennifer Herber, spokesperson for the city’s Solid Waste Services Department. "But then we started thinking about it , and we’re like 'You know, we’re going to have fun with this because this is going to get us a lot of attention and we’re going to get a lot of really good input.' And it really has brought a lot of people to the site."

What’s the saying? Any publicity is good publicity?

Herber said the suggestions and comments made online show that some people don’t really know what the Solid Waste Services Department does.

“Historically we called it trash collection, garbage collection, terms that really focus simply on taking materials to the landfill and disposing of them,” Herber said. “And we’ve evolved from that now to looking for ways to turn those materials into resources. ” 

The department offers yard trimming collections, street sweeping, hazardous waste, single stream recycling, and Herber said “hopefully one day, curbside composting. ”

The wild names went viral on the web. Herber has been doing interviews with outlets like MTV and NPR. Some of those creative names online include the Ministry of Filth, the Department of Garbology and Waste Not, Want Not.

There’s no rule that the city must take the top vote. Sorry Fred Durst.

Herber said the department will weed through all the silly names and consider the serious ones like the Austin Sustainable Waste and Recovery Service  or the city’s own suggestion: the Austin Recycling and Waste Reduction Department.

Sound boring?  Come up with your own. Voting and commenting ends at midnight tonight.

Recommendations will be made to the city manager around Earth Day in April.