Manatee County will begin picking up the mountains of debris left by Hurricane Irma on Tuesday, Sept. 19, much earlier than originally expected.
But patience with the crews will still be required, said Amy Pilson, public affairs liaison for the Manatee County utilities department.
“We don’t know where they will be at any given time,” Pilson said. “They will have multiple crews in various locations around the community and will be working from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., seven days a week.”
The city of Sarasota announced that debris will begin being picked up Monday, Sept. 18, and also noted, “no specific scheduled days for storm debris collection” are known.
Debris management contractors will be making their rounds according to their own schedules. Municipalities keep emergency debris management contractors under contract so when emergency declarations are declared, the costs can be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Bradenton uses the same contractor and Public Works Director Jim McLellan said there are two contracts.
“One is for debris management or hauling,” he said. “The second is for debris monitoring, which is a firm that records what the haulers handle for FEMA reporting purposes. The monitoring firm needs to set up a tower from which they will observe and record the haulers activities at our disposal site. The tower needs to be in place and approved before hauling can occur. The monitoring firm has indicated they are hoping to get the tower installed on Monday. Once the tower is in place, hauling of debris can commence, but we have no definitive date from the hauling firm.”
Residents are reminded to place debris 3 to 5 feet from the curbside, so that it is not out in the street. Work crews will not enter private property to pick up debris. Do not block roads, fire hydrants or water meters.
Residents need to separate debris into four different piles:
▪ Organic debris such as leaves and branches.
▪ Construction debris, such as building materials damaged by the storm.
▪ “White goods,” such as appliances.
▪ Normal garbage containers.
Regular garbage and recycling pickup schedules will resume next week.