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Hurricane Matthew: FAQs About Brevard County Storm Debris Collection

Post Date:10/20/2016 12:04 PM

Storm debris collection throughout Brevard County is expected to take another 30 to 45 days, and possibly longer in some areas of the county harder hit by Hurricane Matthew.

Brevard County Emergency Management has provided the following answers to frequently asked questions about storm debris collection:


Why does yard debris have to be separated from the construction debris?

The yard debris (vegetative waste) and construction debris (fences, docks, roofing shingles, etc.) are disposed of in different ways and in accordance with different regulations. The vegetative debris can be ground into mulch to be recycled, while construction debris must be buried in the landfill.


Why are my containerized materials being collected and not my piles?

Waste Management, Inc., the County’s franchised solid waste collector, is still collecting containerized materials (garbage, recyclables, and yard waste) in the unincorporated areas of the County under the terms of their collection agreement.

For large piles of hurricane generated yard trash and construction debris the County has hired special debris removal contractors. In order to recover a portion of the hurricane cleanup costs from FEMA and defray significant costs to residents certain requirements have been placed on the County’s cleanup efforts. Principally the County must certify the measurements of every truck and every load, document that the waste was only picked up from the public right-of-way, and maintain a record of the amount and type of debris created by Hurricane Matthew.


Why can’t I use my Waste Management carts for my yard waste?

Waste Management cannot see what is in your carts when they pick them up at your curbside. Each waste type is taken to a different disposal or recycling facility. If you put yard waste in your garbage cart it will go to the landfill instead of being mulched (recycled). If you place your yard waste in a recycle cart that yard waste will contaminate the whole recycling load and all of those recyclables will end up in the landfill instead of being recycled.


What does the Interlocal agreement mean?

Through Interlocal Agreements with certain cities, Brevard County is providing hurricane debris cleanup services in accordance all FEMA required contractual and accounting procedures to maximize FEMA reimbursement of cleanup costs from Hurricane Matthew. The County’s Solid Waste Management Department is up-fronting the cost of the cleanup effort to the cities and after reimbursement from FEMA will bill the cities their individual share of those costs not covered by FEMA. The County has contracts in place with two debris management firms with experience with disaster cleanup, and with a consulting firm with experience in managing projects for maximum reimbursement from FEMA.


Who is picking up my debris? Why is it taking so long?

We have estimated that Hurricane Matthew generated over 300,000 cubic yards of debris in 24 hours; that is equivalent to almost 3 months of yard trash normally collected in the County. This does not include the large number of fences, docks and other construction debris. It is going to take some time for this to be collected. Waste Management, Inc., your normal waste collector, will pick up all containerized waste as usual. They are a few days behind due to the volume of waste generated over the last couple of weeks. The County’s debris contractors are picking up the large piles set out in the public right-of-way. No collection can or will be made from private property.  Unfortunately a large number of communities from South Florida to North Carolina suffered the wrath of Matthew and all these communities are hiring debris collection trucks making the market very tight. We currently have over 40 extra trucks and crews on the roads.

The County landfills are open as usual for the public to drop off waste if you choose to do so. There is no charge at the landfill for yard trash from residents.


Why can’t the contractors pick up on private property?

The County’s solid waste collection ordinance prohibits the County from collecting waste on private property, and FEMA does not reimburse the County or the cities for debris cleanup unless it is picked up from the public right-of-way.


How do I report damage caused by the contractor?

Please call the Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633-2042 to report any damage done to your property by our contractors.


Is Waste Management operating on a current schedule?

Due to the dangerous conditions the day before Hurricane Matthew and the two days after, Waste Management was unable to make their scheduled collections. According to Waste Management the volume of garbage, recycling and containerized yard waste has been greater than normal over the past two weeks requiring more trips to the landfill and certain routes have not been completed according to the normal schedule. However, they have assured the County that they are making progress and will be back caught up by next week.


How do I report missed pickups?

For regular garbage, recycling, or containerized yard waste please call Waste Management at (321) 636-6894 (North areas) or (321)723-4455 (South Area)

For questions or concerns regarding hurricane debris pickup County residents should call the Solid Waste Management Department (321) 633-2042.


Are the contractors required to cover their loads?

All trucks are required to cover their loads while traversing public roadways.


What about leftover debris after initial pickup?

The County crews will make two passes throughout the county and cities that have entered into Interlocal Agreements for yard waste collection and one pass for construction debris. The County will notify the public when the first pass has been completed.
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