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Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management steps up Hurricane Irma debris removal using the services of contracted debris haulers

More than 140 contracted crews will begin removing debris countywide today

MIAMI (September 18, 2017)

The Department of Solid Waste Management’s (DSWM) debris hauling contractors will begin collecting hurricane debris piles from the curbsides of its waste collection customers today, September 18, 2017. Debris collection activities will take place seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will continue until all hurricane debris piles are removed.

The DSWM’s 31 bulky waste collection crews began initial debris collection immediately after the all-clear was given. Working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily since last Monday, bulky crews have already removed more than 4,000 piles. These crews will continue to remove hurricane debris throughout the unincorporated service area and in the nine municipalities serviced by the DSWM*. These efforts will be augmented using the contracted services of three pre-qualified debris hauling companies that will initially deploy 140 trucks to pick up curbside debris piles. By week’s end, the contractors will have 500 trucks dedicated to debris removal.

While there will be hundreds of crews working to clean up debris left behind by Hurricane Irma, debris removal activities will take time to complete. “Debris collection following Hurricane Wilma in 2005 took almost 90 days. From our preliminary estimates, we project that crews will collect approximately 400,000 tons of hurricane debris during cleanup efforts. That amount of trash is significantly higher than the annual tonnage collected through the department’s curbside bulky waste program and from our 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers,” said Deputy Mayor and Department of Solid Waste Management Director Alina Hudak. “We are committed to working seven days a week to ensure that our debris removal efforts are well-coordinated, organized and thorough. Residents are asked to be patient during the debris collection process,” Hudak added.

Residents are reminded of the following when preparing curbside hurricane debris piles:

  • There is no need to schedule a bulky waste pickup for hurricane debris.
  • Place hurricane debris into two separate piles at the curb/right-of-way – one for vegetative waste (tree limbs, branches, bushes) and the other for storm-damaged household contents like furniture, carpeting, fencing and small amounts of storm-related construction and demolition debris.
  • Situate piles at the curb away from fire hydrants, parked cars, utility poles, mailboxes and other personal property that might be damaged by equipment.
  • Do not place hurricane debris on the right-of-way of private/commercial property or on vacant land.
  • Do not place bagged household garbage and/or trash or household hazardous waste on debris piles. Bagged garbage and trash should be placed in the County-issued green waste cart for regular twice-weekly collection. Home chemicals should be taken to the County’s Home Chemical Collection Centers
  • Small amounts of hurricane debris can be dropped off by DSWM customers at the Department’s 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers
  • Municipal residents not serviced by Miami-Dade County’s DSWM should contact their municipality or waste service provider for service updates and debris removal activities.

For more information on solid waste-related Hurricane Irma Recovery efforts, visit the County’s Emergency Operations page at or call 311, the County’s Contact Center.

* DSWM provides curbside waste collection and recycling services to single-family residents in the unincorporated service area and the cities of Aventura, Cutler Bay, Doral, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Opa-locka, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and Sunny Isles Beach.