Solid Waste Management Director David McCary



David W. McCary has been the director of the City of San Antonio’s Solid Waste Management Department since September 2007 where he plans, directs, manages, and oversees collection operations for the seventh largest city in the nation. His leadership was instrumental in converting to fully automated services for residential recycling, organics recycling, and garbage collection and creating the city’s first Recycling and Resource Recovery Plan titled, “Creating a Pathway to Zero Waste.”  Today, San Antonio is recognized for having one of the most comprehensive zero waste programs in the country that is not state mandated.

McCary has 30 plus years of professional experience in the field of solid waste management. He is a liberator and mentor of sanitation workers and leaders around the country. He has directed collection operations for four major cities across the United States with great success. Cities like Houston, Texas; Durham, North Carolina; Tampa, Florida and San Antonio, Texas have all saved millions of tax and rate payers’ dollars through the advancement of automated collection technologies and innovation from planning and research development initiatives.

McCary’s greatest accomplishment that he is most proud of is that he was able to achieve these savings from each of these cities without one employee being laid off. Because of his passion as a leader and mentor, he has advanced the careers of eight mentees who today are municipal directors across the country and overseas. He believes that employees are the greatest asset and that all employees should be empowered to master their craft.

San Antonio recently won the State’s 2015 Star Recycling Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America Texas Chapter (TxSWANA) for their advancement and innovation in recycling and waste reduction programs. While serving as director in Durham, the city received the U.S. EPA Waste Wise Award and while serving as director in Tampa their Waste-To-Energy plant achieved the Zero Incidents STAR Award. While transitioning to Durham, former Houston Mayor, Lee Brown, proclaimed January 13, 1999 as David McCary Day in the City of Houston. 


  • Masters of Public Administration from University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Bachelors of Science in Business Management from LeTourneau University
  • Certified Public Manager, Texas State University
  • Certified Solid Waste Manager, Texas A&M University Extension Services and Solid Waste Association of North America Certification Services

Professional Memberships and Community Involvement

  • Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Houston, TX
  • National Forum of Black Public Administrators, San Antonio Chapter, Past President
  • Solid Waste Association of North America, Texas Chapter, Vice President

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