Storm debris: Get it to street, then wait

Breakdown of debris pickup plans in Jacksonville, other counties

Debris is piling up all along the streets in Jacksonville and other communities as residents clean up from Hurricane Irma.

The city of Jacksonville is gearing up to pick up that trash, but it is going to take time. Contractors will begin picking up debris in 11 days, on Monday, Sept. 25. Traditional yard waste pickup of up to 30 bags has already resumed, but there are limits on size and volume in the scheduled weekly pickups.

"I am hearing there is more debris than (Hurricane) Matthew," Mayor Lenny Curry said. "But we're going to ride our team as hard and we're going to get people's neighborhoods cleaned up."

Last October, contractors made several passes through neighborhoods over a period of several weeks before all the debris was collected.

Other Northeast Florida communities have also resumed regular pickups of garbage and trash and plan to begin storm-debris pickup within days.

All communities want people to know that vegetation needs to be piled separately from construction debris, which is separate from household garbage. (Click for infographic explaining how to sort storm waste)

Scroll down for details of pickup plans for your county or city:

Jacksonville/Duval County


Citizens have two options for pickup of VEGETATIVE DEBRIS (branches, yard waste, etc.):

(1) Prepare vegetative debris for collection along with your normal weekly yard waste collection. Bag or containerize up to five (5) cubic yards for weekly yard waste collection (Five cubic yards roughly equals 30 garbage bags OR a standard pickup truck bed filled to the top).


(2) Pile vegetative storm debris in a large pile at the curb at least three feet away from utility boxes, poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants and other obstacles. Haulers will begin collecting these debris piles beginning MONDAY, SEPT. 25, 2017. Crews use vehicles with large mechanical arms that grab and scoop debris, so please DO NOT PLACE MATERIALS UNDER TREES or near any obstacles. Crews will be working seven days a week from sunrise to sunset but there won't be a schedule for your particular street. Crews will make multiple passes over the entire city. Please avoid parking on the street if a first pass for pickup has not been completed.

With both options it is CRITICAL that yard waste and wood debris (branches, limbs, etc.) remain SEPARATE from construction debris and household waste. FAILURE TO KEEP DEBRIS SEPARATED MAY CAUSE IT TO BE LEFT BEHIND.

Debris removal for state roads will be handled by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

"WHITE GOODS WASTE" - "White Goods" describes large appliances (refrigerators, deep freezers, etc.) Citizens can schedule pickup of these large items by calling 630-CITY.


Do NOT set out household hazardous waste (vehicle batteries, paint, chemicals). You must take those items to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility, located at 2675 Commonwealth Blvd. Citizens can also check coj.net for future HHW remote collection events..

REMINDER: Outdoor open burning is strictly prohibited without a permit.

What types of debris will be picked up by solid waste?

All standard solid waste collection rules apply with a 5-cubic-yard waste limit. Any changes or exceptions to these rules as result of the storm will be communicated via local media channels, social media, the City website (www.COJ.net) and the JaxReady mobile app.


St. Johns County

St. Johns County initiated the Hurricane Irma Debris Collection Program on Friday, September 15. Residents are encouraged to move all storm debris to the curb as crews will collect debris from the public right-of-way. The contractor will make multiple passes through various neighborhoods to ensure all storm-related debris is collected. The following guidelines will assist the County in expediting debris removal:

  • Please place storm debris in the right of way at the curb
  • Debris must be three feet from utility boxes, mailboxes, hydrants, and other obstacles.
  • Debris collection crews will not pick up bags, containers, leaves, or small debris.
  • Please separate vegetation from all other storm-related debris.
  • Bagged vegetative debris (leaves) will be picked up on regularly scheduled garbage collection days.

No chemicals or hazardous waste will be collected curbside. Hazardous waste may be disposed of at the Tillman Ridge or Stratton Road Transfer Stations for disposal during standard operating hours. For more information regarding the Hurricane Irma Debris Removal program, call 904-827-6980 or visit www.recyclestjohns.com.

St. Augustine

Collection of storm debris beings tomorrow, Saturday, September 16 with the start of the initial pass through the city for the collection of vegetative debris only.   

A schedule for the collection of other storm debris, including construction and demolition debris, appliances and white goods, electronics, and household hazardous waste will be announced next week.

All of the debris is to be placed curbside, but not in the street or obscuring infrastructure such as storm water inlets, water meters, cable boxes and fire hydrants. No debris is to be placed in bags, even small vegetative debris. It is important for those collecting to know what material is being picked-up, and bags make that difficult. Additionally, plastic bags cannot be recycled. 

The city's Public Works Department estimates four weeks to complete all storm debris pickup with a target completion deadline of Friday, October 13.

For lots more details, see the home page story at www.CityStAug.com which includes a diagram of how to separate debris property and frequently asked questions about debris collection.

Regular solid waste collections return Monday

The regularly scheduled collections will return on Monday, September 18, except that Wednesday's yard trash collection will be suspended during the collection of storm debris which includes vegetative material. 

Call the Solid Waste Division with questions at 904-825-1049.

Reminder for commercial properties with storm debris

Commercial properties are reminded that they are responsible for removal of their own debris caused by Hurricane Irma, including construction and demolition materials and discarded furnishings.

Businesses should avoid placing demolition and construction debris in the right-of-way where it will block access to driveways, parking lanes or sidewalks, and to avoid placing such debris in dumpsters reserved for regular garbage and recycling materials.

At this time, the city does not have dumpsters or roll-offs available for rent, and businesses must not use their regular trash containers for storm related debris.

Debris not removed from commercial property may be removed by the city as a health hazard and the property owner will be responsible for the cost.

Any business needing assistance in arranging for debris removal should contact the Public Works Department at 904-825-1040.


Clay County

Beginning Saturday, Sept. 16, Clay County will pick up yard waste that meets Advanced Disposal’s service standards.

Service standards describe this as leaves, grass clippings and small yard debris bagged in a 40-gallon or smaller can or heavy-duty plastic trash bag for collection not exceeding 50 pounds.

All stumps, trees and limbs may not exceed 4 feet in length or 50 pounds in weight for a total of no more than 5 cubic yards. Please see additional service standard information below.

Beginning Monday, the county will begin vegetative storm debris pick-ups. 

In two weeks, the county anticipate the construction and demolition debris plan will be released to provide residents ample time to conduct clean-up of their homes and businesses. 


Nassau County

Advanced Disposal resumed residential garbage and recycling pick up Thursday.  Storm debris pickup will begin very soon. Residents should sort and place yard debris and construction and demolition debris on the county right of way. Do not bag these items. All materials must be clearly visible before they will be picked up. 

Yard debris burning is allowed in Nassau County, excluding the City of Fernandina Beach. Residents should burn only clean, dry wood (no household garbage, construction debris or treated lumber). Yard debris piles must be less than 8 feet in diameter and placed on bare dirt to prevent flames from spreading. The pile must be positioned 25 feet from your home, 25 feet from wildlands, and 150 feet from your neighbor’s home and 50 feet from any paved public road.  Begin burning after 9 am and all flames must be completely extinguished one hour before sunset.  Wet wood will produce more smoke and may cause a nuisance to neighbors, especially if their electricity has not been restored and their windows are open. Please be courteous when burning yard debris.  Call the Florida Forest Service for more information at 904-266-8351.  


Flagler County

Debris pickup in the unincorporated areas of Flagler County will begin Thursday, September 21. 

“We expect it will take less than 30 days to complete the pickup,” said County Engineer Faith Alkhatib, whose team is overseeing the operation. “The debris removal will be done in zones based on location, and will begin with vegetative debris.”

Zone 1 – East of Interstate 95, north of State Road 100

  • Includes: Beverly Beach and Marineland
  • It does NOT include: private roads and private communities

Zone 2 – East of Interstate 95, south of State Road 100

  • It does NOT include: private roads and private communities

Zone 3 – West of U.S. 1

There will be a second pass made to the flooded areas of unincorporated Flagler County to collect construction debris, to include: drywall, lumber, carpet furniture and plumbing. White goods, such as refrigerators, stoves, water heaters, dishwashers, washer/dryers and air conditioners will also be collected at this time. 

Only debris generated during Hurricane Irma will be collected. 

Debris should be separated by category. Do not mix vegetative debris with other items or it will NOT be collected. Do NOT bag debris. Regular household garbage should also be separated. 

The debris should be placed in the public right-of-way on public roadways where it will be collected. 

Household hazardous waste and electronics will not be picked up curbside and should be brought to the drop-off center located at 1700 South Old Kings Road. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Palm Coast

Palm Coast’s regular routes are taking longer than usual due to the increased amount of household garbage following the storm. As pickup of household garbage is a priority, Waste Pro will finish any of Friday’s routes that were not picked up on Saturday. 

Then, on Monday, collection of storm debris will begin in earnest. Waste Pro will work six days a week until the cleanup is complete.

To expedite debris removal from residences, the City asks residents to help by separating everything at the curb into the following categories:

  • Vegetative Debris – leaves, logs, plants, tree branches, etc.
  • Construction & 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 and yard trash schedule for normal garbage and bagged storm debris. 

Debris should be placed on your property near the curb – NOT on the street. Don’t pile vegetative debris on your water meter box or your sewer cleanout cap or your PEP tank lid. The City may need access to these systems during storm recovery.

Please be patient. It will take more than one pass through Palm Coast before all the debris (whether bagged or loose) is picked up. Simply leave the debris at curbside until it is picked up. This process is expected to take several weeks.

Commercial businesses and apartments, townhomes, and condominiums are responsible for their own debris cleanup and hauling. Hurricane debris will not be picked up by Waste Pro. Businesses and multi-family residential developments should not place debris at the curb.


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