One of the largest tasks after a storm will be collecting debris.
More than 3 million cubic yards was collected after the three 2004-2005 storms just by the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County. That’s about what the authority normally collects in two years.
The same amount was collected by area municipalities across Palm Beach County.
And debris also swamped agencies and towns in Martin and St. Lucie counties.
It can take several weeks to get everything. You can help.
Don’t call! Everyone is in the same hurry, but collectors can work only so fast.
Agencies and municipalities will provide updates through the media.
ITEMS FOR PICKUP
The first priority will be household garbage. It might take three to six weeks for them to pick up debris.
Get everything to the curb as quickly as is safely possible.
At the curb, separate household garbage, recyclables, vegetation (yard trash) and “construction materials” — lumber, concrete, wood fence pieces, etc.
Secure household garbage in plastic bags or cans and place at the curb on your scheduled collection day.
Collectors could make as many as three or four passes, each time collecting a different type of debris, or skip your home altogether if trucks are full. Be patient. They haven’t forgotten you.
Never place debris near or on a fence, mailbox, power line equipment, poles, transformers, downed wires, water meters, or storm drains.
Agencies use cranes, loaders and other heavy equipment that will damage these items. And hidden electrical hazards can injure or kill workers.
Between the debris sitting on it for weeks, and the heavy equipment snatching up debris, you can probably count on having to fill and/or resod your swale.
FEMA will provide some reimbursement to area agencies and municipalities for storm debris cleanup.
But neither you nor your homeowners association will be reimbursed if you hire a private contractor.
Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County: (561) 697-2700 or (866) SWA-INFO, www.swa.org (click ‘Hurricane Info’)
Martin County Utility and Solid Waste Division: (772) 221-1442, www.martin.fl.us
St. Lucie County Solid Waste: (772) 462-1768, www.stlucieco.gov/solid_waste/
Okeechobee Solid Waste: (863) 357-0111, www.co.okeechobee.fl.us/departments/S_Listings.htm (click on Solid Waste & Recycling)
Or contact your local municipality.