Ken Paxton


Section 263.152 of the Local Government Code authorizes a county to periodically sell the county’s surplus or salvage property by competitive bid or auction.  “Salvage property” is personal property, other than items routinely discarded as waste, that because of use, time, accident, or any other cause is so worn, damaged, or obsolete that it has no value for the purpose for which it was originally intended.  When a county attempts to sell salvage property by competitive bidding or auction but receives no bids, the county may dispose of the property through a recycling program under which the property is collected, separated, or processed and returned to use in the form of raw materials in the production of new products.

A commissioners court possesses implied authority to utilize recycling programs for the disposition of routinely discarded county waste, subject to other applicable law.  Whether culverts the county removes from real property are “routinely discarded as waste” presents fact questions for the commissioners court to determine and cannot be resolved in an attorney general opinion.

Opinion File