Debris removal begins in some counties, soon in others

While heavy property damage from Hurricane Matthew was concentrated in coastal area of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia, trees and limbs were down dozens of miles inland, and neighborhoods across the First Coast are littered with tree debris. 

The city of Jacksonville and neighboring counties are rushing to figure out how to pick up tons and tons of debris and where to put it.

"The city will come and get it when they can. I have absolute faith," Mandarin resident Virginia Barker said.

On Monday, Mayor Lenny Curry said he is determined to make that happen, and quickly.

"Debris removal will start tomorrow (Tuesday). I would encourage people to get their debris out so when we come through on our first pass," Curry said. "When I say we will start tomorrow, that doesn't mean every single home we'll be at tomorrow, but what you don't want to happen, you don't want us to make a pass and you didn't have your debris out front. Because by the time that second pass comes around, we will be working other parts of the city before we can get back through."

Jacksonville has contracted with private haulers to help with debris pickup around the city. At Jacksonville Beach, it's a similar story with yard waste scattered throughout the city. Officials said the city will be making two passes and hope to have most of the debris picked up in several weeks.

While the disaster declaration includes federal funds for debris removal, decisions on how to handle pickup and dispose of the material is up to local governments.

Here's what we know about debris so far:

Duval County

  • Street sweepers began work Monday and will continue to work through Saturday to remove lose debris left from Hurricane Matthew
  • Leave loose storm debris at the curb 3+ feet away from utility boxes and poles, fire hydrants, mailboxes, etc. 
  • Pickups will start Tuesday, and there will be two passes through every neighborhood, but it will take days
  • There will be no limits on loose storm debris. City is working to open temporary landfills for yard waste
  • Normal scheduled yard waste collection will remain for bagged waste

St. Johns County

  • Residents may pile debris at the curb Monday for pickup by private contractors
  • Contractors will make multiple passes through neighborhoods, beginning Monday
  • Do not put debris in trash bags; don’t include household garbage with yard debris
  • Garbage is being collected Monday for those who were scheduled for pickup on Thursday or Friday and on Tuesday for those who are scheduled for Monday/Tuesday pickup

Nassau County

The Nassau County commissioners are meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday to finalize plans to hire two contractors and establish a collection schedule that would likely begin Monday.

Clay County

  • Storm debris should be placed curbside for collection
  • Collections will begin at the end of this week
  • Once collections begin, a schedule of pickups will be published

Camden County

  • Residential yard debris only can be brought to the Old Still Road Yard Waste facility located halfway down Old Still Road in Kingsland on the east side of the road
  • Normal hours begin Monday

Glynn County

The following pattern will continue until trash service is caught up: 

  • Thursday's regularly scheduled pick up from last week, will occur tomorrow Tuesday, Oct. 11
  • Friday's pick up from last week will occur on Wednesday, Oct. 12
  • Monday's pick up from this week will occur on Thursday, Oct. 13
  • Tuesday's pick up from this week will be Friday, Oct. 14
  • Wednesday's pick up Saturday, Oct. 15
  • Thursday's pick up Monday, Oct. 17
  • Friday's pick up Tuesday, Oct. 18

Palm Coast

In an effort to expedite the debris removal, the city of Palm Coast asked residents to help by separating everything at the curb into the following categories:

  • Vegetative debris -- leaves, logs, plants, tree branches, etc.
  • Construction and demolition debris -- building materials, asphalt shingles, drywall, lumber, metal, plastics, etc.
  • Normal household trash -- Normal household trash and bagged debris of any kind will not be picked up with debris as part of this program. You should continue to follow your normal garbage schedule
  • Residents should not place debris piles near other objects like fire hydrants and mailboxes or under power lines or low-hanging branches that would interfere with the collection equipment

Because of the volume, Waste Pro will not be able to pick up all bagged debris on Wednesday. Simply leave the bags at curbside, and they will be picked up in the next cycle.