Public Works Continues to Increase Storm Debris Collection Crews

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Public Works Waste Management announced today that they are increasing debris collection efforts from Hurricane Irene.  


They suspended bulk item collections and yard debris container rentals to focus their efforts on the storm cleanup immediately following the storm.  The original estimates developed by FEMA and City staff indicated approximately 70,000 cubic yards of debris.  The actual amounts are much greater, however, and the revised estimate is now approximately 125,000 – 150,000 cubic yards.  Although the amount of large material is limited, almost every residence has some debris, and the amounts in wooded neighborhoods are extensive.


As a comparison, the May 2011 storm created approximately 30,000 cubic yards of debris and took two weeks to clean up. The 2009 Nor’easter created approximately 45,000 cubic yards and took three weeks to clean up.


Public Works Waste Management has augmented the normal yard debris collection resources. Temporary staff has been added and crews are working overtime, six days per week.  Regional storm debris contracts have been activated to secure contractor resources to assist the cleanup effort.   The contractor continues to ramp up crews, and expects to have 35-40 crews working by the end of this week. 


One pass of debris clean up has been completed in the Tuesday and Thursday collection zones.  Work began last week in the Wednesday and Friday collection zones, with work progressing from east to west across the City.  Areas that are routinely completed in one day, however, have taken 4-5 days to complete.  The contractor anticipates that it will take until the end of next week to complete a full pass for the whole City. 


With residents continuing to bring out storm debris and volumes continuing to increase, Public Works anticipates that the second pass could take an additional 1-2 weeks.


“Residents have been patient but are ready for the storm debris to be gone and for normal yard waste collections to resume,” said Phil Davenport, Interim Director for Public Works.  “In-house crews and our contracted crews are working diligently to see that happen.”


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