County by county: How to get rid of storm debris in Northeast Florida

As debris from Ian continues to pile up across Northeast Florida, many property owners are wondering about ways to get rid of their storm debris now.

As debris from Ian continues to pile up across Northeast Florida, many property owners are wondering about ways to get rid of their storm debris now.

Jacksonville homeowner Patricia Botz said she will wait on her regular hauler to remove debris.

“I cleaned all day yesterday and cut grass, and you can see my pile over there,” Botz said. “They say Monday they’ll start doing trashes around the area. I’ve got it put all in sections like they wanted it. When they come, they come.”

As debris from Ian continues to pile up across Northeast Florida, many property owners are wondering about ways to get rid of their storm debris now.

But if you don’t want to wait until whenever that is, here is a county-by-county look at the different options in the area to get rid of debris.

Clay County

In Clay County, the Rosemary Hill Solid Waste Management Facility, north of the Clay County Fairgrounds, will be accepting residential yard waste at no charge during normal operating hours of Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Oct. 11.

You must provide proof of residency with a driver’s license, lease or utility bill.

Commercial waste will be charged at normal rates. All yard waste transported in any type of commercial vehicle will be considered commercial.

Yard waste and trash pickups resumed as usual on Monday. For Green Cove Springs, trash pickup also resumed on Monday.

On Tuesday, Clay County said it’s collecting yard waste with the usual manually loaded trucks. All yard waste should be properly prepared for normal curbside collection. In addition to the normal yard waste crews, the county is working with Waste Management and the city of Green Cove Springs for use of their clamshell or grapple trucks to assist in collecting the unusually high volume of yard waste. Waste Management’s truck is available each day and the two Green Cove Springs trucks will be assisting on Wednesday and Saturday. Tree surgeons and contractors must haul away all materials from any work they perform.

Yard waste preparation:

  • Small branches, leaves, grass clippings, small yard waste piles and palm fronds must be containerized (40 gallons or less) or bagged.
  • Containers, bags and/or limbs cannot exceed 50 pounds
  • Large branches must be cut into 4-foot lengths and stacked neatly curbside
  • Waste Management will collect up to 5 cubic yards (4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet) of yard waste each week

Duval County

According to the city of Jacksonville, all waste collections — garbage, recycling, bulk and yard waste — resumed Monday.

The city said yard debris from the storm is being collected through the city’s normally contracted waste haulers and by Public Works Solid Waste Personnel.

The city’s Trail Ridge Landfill also reopened Monday. According to the city, residents do not want to wait on pickup, as Trail Ridge Landfill is open to the public. Residents can also utilize private landfills for a fee: Old Kings Road landfall at 8540 Old Kings Road, Otis Rd landfill at 1700 Otis Road and Gastons at 7405 Phillips Hwy (Takes “clean debris only,” no dirt, sod, etc., but limbs, logs, branches OK).

Beaches communities are handling their own debris collection and disposal.

Nassau County

In Nassau County, you can take your debris to the Sandhill Recycling Center at 153326 County Road 108 in Yulee for a fee.

For hours and rates, call 904-225-2801.

Putnam County

There are three drop-off sites in Putnam County: Central landfill in Palatka, Interlachen landfill drop-off site and Huntington landfill drop-off site outside Crescent City.

If it’s small enough, Waste Pro can pick up at the curb, although it may take a few trips, according to the county.

Regular garbage collection resumed on Monday.

The county said it assessing needs in flooded areas and waiting on the Federal Emergency Management Agency process then will go in and help further.

St. Johns County

In St. Johns County, if you want to get rid of household trash and yard debris, you can utilize two free disposal sites:

  • Stratton Road Transfer Station – 250 North Stratton Road in St. Augustine
  • Tillman Ridge Transfer Station – 3005 Allen Nease Road in Elkton (Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Residents using these sites are asked to separate trash from vegetation.

St. Johns County residential garbage and recycling collection has resumed its normal schedule.

According to St. Johns County, countywide assessments of storm-related debris to estimate the volume of debris to be collected started on Saturday, and this is ongoing. The debris collection is anticipated to be significantly less than following hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and residents are encouraged to place debris curbside for collection.

Both the city of St. Augustine Beach and the city of St. Augustine are handling their own storm debris collection.

The city of St. Augustine has hired a contractor to expedite debris removal services. On Friday, DRC Emergency Services will start collecting storm materials from residential neighborhoods throughout the city in those areas most impacted by the storm based on volume and accessibility to the debris.

The city said it is imperative that the roadway is clear of automobiles to ensure that debris can be accessible by the trucks and personnel. All debris should be placed curbside, within 10 feet of the curb so that it can be reached by pickup crews and trucks. Debris should not be placed in the street where it can obstruct vehicular traffic, fire hydrants, mailboxes and utility boxes.

Debris must be segregated into separate piles: yard debris, construction debris, and household goods, such as furniture and appliances.  Mixed debris will not be collected. Debris that is blocked by parked vehicles or that is inaccessible also will not be collected.

Bagged debris that is properly set curbside, separate from other debris, will be collected by the city’s Solid Waste Division and not the contractor.

Debris placed under low-hanging limbs, communication and power lines and guide wires may have a delayed collection due to manual labor required to push debris curbside to allow clearance.

The city said it delayed the activation of the contractor to ensure that needs were being met in Southwest Florida.

Regularly scheduled residential and commercial solid waste trash collection has resumed for St. Johns County.

Curbside residential recycling is still suspended at this time, however, residents can divert recyclables by using our free drop-off recycling locations in the meantime:

  • 601 Riberia Street – end of Riberia by Solid Waste Department and Waste Water Plant.
  • North City – by the Las Palmas condos on San Marco.
  • Red Cox Drive – by the soccer field, behind RB Hunt Elementary School

St. Augustine residents with questions or concerns can contact the Solid Waste Division by emailing or by calling 904-825-1049 and selecting option 1.

About the Author:

Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.