Residents can expedite the clean-up process by properly separating debris into:
- Yard debris
- Building debris and building contents (fences, roof materials, screens, windows, carpets, etc.
- Regular garbage and trash
Debris should be placed at curbside away from fire hydrants, trees, power lines, mailboxes and valves or other items that could be damaged or restrict collection.
Debris pick-up schedules will vary by city and unincorporated area. Check news bulletins. Information will be available as schedules are announced. Generally, to clear yards of debris, you should:
- Cut fallen tree limbs into sections of 4 feet or less.
- Stack material neatly at the curbside, separated from garbage.
- Put smaller or loose items (limbs, leaves, etc.) into tightly-lidded containers such as garbage cans or clear plastic bags.
- Bundle piles of smaller branches with twine. Containers or bundles should not weigh more than 50 pounds.
Building Debris / Building Contents
- Besides vegetative debris, there may be piles of broken building materials after a disaster, including roof tiles, broken framework, torn screens (building debris) as well as damaged furniture or carpets (building contents).
- Keep building debris and building contents separate from vegetative material and regular garbage.
- Special collection arrangement may be required or alternate disposal locations designated.
Regular garbage and trash
- Always dispose of any food that has come into direct contact with floodwaters. Although a few agencies will advise that some canned foods may be salvageable, if they appear dented or damaged, don't take chances - throw them away.
- Attempting to dry out the contents of your home can take several weeks, and as long as the humidity remains high, microorganisms may continue to grow. If the house and its contents are not properly dried out, and you have problems with musty odors consider throwing out the content.
Debris Safety Tips
- Make sure debris does not block storm drains, cover or block access to fire hydrants, block right(s)-of-way or block pedestrian traffic.
- Keep children away from debris piles. They can be full of broken glass, nails, jagged wood and other sharp items, and children can easily get injured playing in, around or on them. The debris piles may also contain rodents or bugs, raising the possibility of nasty bites.
- Watch children carefully when heavy equipment is in the area and debris removal operations are taking place. Small children may not be easily seen by equipment operators.
- Move your car from the debris pile area. This will make it easier for the equipment operator to pick up the materials and will reduce the possibility of damage to your vehicle.
- Drive carefully when behind debris-loaded trucks. Materials can easily fly out causing an accident or driving hazard. Leave a safe distance between your car and the truck.
- Keep all open flames and lit cigarettes away from debris piles as they may contain flammable materials.
Technical Information Provided by Broward County, Florida