Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - City residents are urged to get their Hurricane Florence debris to the curb as soon as possible, as the City’s FEMA authorized debris removal company will be assigning some of the vehicles that were at work in Jacksonville to help Hurricane Michael affected communities. But, it should be after Michael passes.
Most of the City has had two rounds of yard waste debris pickup. Many areas have had multiple construction debris pickups. The City’s contractor does not believe there is enough left at the curb in Jacksonville to warrant the fleet of trucks now in place. The contractor is proposing to reassign trucks to where they can be ready to assist communities there with debris pickup after Hurricane Michael.
While the date for the last pickup has not been set, City Manager Richard Woodruff is strongly encouraging residents to have their debris out to the curb by Wednesday, October 24, 2018. It will take some time after that date to pick up what is left. Debris pick up could be hampered by cars parked in the street or other hazards which block streets.
It is expected that a smaller contingent of trucks will be retained by the City to handle the remaining debris. There is a point where the cost of the FEMA authorized debris contractor is not reimbursable by FEMA, and any cost would have to be borne by the City.
So far, the City debris pickup bill, expected to be reimbursed by FEMA, is at $3.9 million. That would require about an 11 cent property tax increase to offset, if not for the FEMA funding.
After the FEMA authorized debris removal contractor has left, and City crews are alone to pick up debris, normal charges and normal rules are likely to apply. This includes a charge for any vegetative or yard waste debris over a cord in size. Other debris may incur a special charge for removal. JacksonvilleNC.gov/Sanitation has more information.
In some cases, the City does not have the equipment to remove the heavy vegetative debris that the FEMA authorized contractor has had in place. This particularly applies to extraordinary large trees where the weight will be too much for the City’s equipment.
So far, more than 12 football fields, from end-zone to end-zone ten-feet-high, have been collected in vegetative debris. Another 11.8 tons of construction and demolition debris has been collected in the 18 days the FEMA authorized contractor has been on site.
Residents are reminded that it is unlawful to open burn debris without a permit in the City. More than ninety unlawful burning activities have been stopped in the City.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - Enough Hurricane Florence tree and yard debris has been collected in Jacksonville to fill six football fields, goal post to goal post, ten feet high. It is the estimate of the City that it could be December before all the vegetative, construction and demolition debris is collected. And, now is the time to be getting stuff to the curb for pickup.
Thirty collection trucks with pick up arms and trailers are in the field seven days a week to collect the vegetative debris, and now, also the construction and demolition debris. City crews are continuing regular garbage pickup, helping with smaller piles on yard waste day as well as appliances, electronics and other special items.
Contract debris removal crews have been on the job since the winds died down. The City has a previously executed contract with a debris management firm in the event of an emergency event such as a hurricane. The management firm works to ensure the actions taken are eligible for FEMA reimbursement to the City. The current bill is more than $1.8 million for the first ten days into the collection work. That would require about a five-cent property tax increase if not for the FEMA reimbursement.
Therefore, residents are urged to place items as soon as possible at the curb while the contract crews are here. It is not practical to extend the crews beyond the time when the City crews can pick up the remainder. Please place yard waste and vegetative debris in one pile, construction and demolition items in another and pile separately electronics and discarded appliances. Each pile should be at least three feet apart from the other.
At this time, the contract crews have not finished their first round of the City for yard waste and vegetative debris. More than 2,100 loads of vegetative debris have been collected and placed at the City’s temporary mulching site across from the Center from Public Safety. A second round will be made when the first round is completed. The contract crews are also assisting in keeping streets clear by cutting limbs that are a danger to safe passage.
Residents are reminded that it is unlawful to open burn debris without a permit in the City. More than forty unlawful burning activities have been stopped in the City. Also, please don’t park cars on the streets during this time as this impedes traffic, can be dangerous for emergency vehicles and in some cases, causes debris pickup to be postponed.