Believe it or not, those hurricane debris piles are getting smaller.
Since Category 4 Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys Sept. 10, about 570,000 cubic yards of vegetative, construction and other debris was collected in unincorporated Monroe County and in Layton and Key Colony Beach, which contracted with the county to provide its hurricane debris removal, since Oct. 15, county information officer Cammy Clark says.
The debris has been collected in neighborhoods and along U.S. 1 by Monroe County’s contracted hauler Ashbritt Environmental and Florida Department of Transportation contractors. Ashbritt has collected 250,590 cubic yards and estimates it is about halfway done its territory, Clark said. DOT contractors have collected 319,329 cubic yards, which includes 170,702 cubic yards along county roads and 149,625 cubic yards along U.S. 1, she said.
Ashbritt is handling Key Largo to Tavernier, Conch Key and mile marker 15 to Stock Island and now has 64 trucks operating in unincorporated Monroe. AshBritt-contracted crews have taken the debris to four temporary debris management sites in the Keys. They also have removed more than 3,000 appliances, which will have Freon removed and then be recycled.
In the Upper Keys, Ashbritt has been working on county roads from mile marker 112 through mile marker 92 in Tavernier and in neighborhoods along County Road 905. Monroe County Public Works crews have been following behind Ashbritt to collect debris from private roads and move it to the closest public right of way, where it can then be collected by the contractor, Clark said.
In the Lower Keys, Ashbritt is collecting debris on Stock Island, Big Coppitt Key, Key Haven, Rockland Key, Bay Point and Geiger Key.
DOT is handling hurricane debris removal from mile marker 16 to mile marker 40 in the Lower Keys and in Layton and Duck Key in the Middle Keys. So far, DOT contractors Munilla Construction Management and OHL/Community Asphalt Corp. have hauled about 170,000 cubic yards from the hardest hit areas of the Keys, between mile markers 16 and 40.
Ashbritt and DOT will begin their final sweeps on Oct. 29.To guarantee free pickup, residents must bring all their hurricane debris to the county right of way (curbside) by the evening of Oct. 28.
After the final sweep is completed, residents in unincorporated areas, Layton and Key Colony Beach will need to make their own arrangements for the removal of materials not collected as part of the hurricane debris collection.
Hurricane debris should not be put in plastic garbage bags. Any items in garbage bags must be separated from the hurricane debris and put in regular garbage bins for collection. Piles that contain garbage bags will not be picked up.
Stack hurricane-related debris on the county right of way in front of homes. It must not block the road or driveways. Do not put debris on vacant lots of other property. It will not be picked up.
Separate into five groups: Vegetative debris, seaweed, household appliances, non-vegetative debris and household hazardous waste, which includes paints, cleaners, etc.
Contents of refrigerators should be thrown out in regular trash. This gets picked up by regular garbage collection.
In the areas that have vacuum sewers in Key Largo and Tavernier, make sure not to stack debris near sewer system breathers, which are not in the right of way. In the Upper Keys they look like small concrete pillars. Debris also should be kept away from fire hydrants and utility poles.
Things that are not eligible for free pick up by hurricane debris contractor include cars, trucks, motor homes, motorcycles, trailers, boats or other watercraft and car parts like tires.