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Hurricane Irma debris collection surpasses 1.5 million of estimated 3 million cubic yards

Crews continue to work seven days a week to remove debris

MIAMI (October 16, 2017)

The Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) has reached an important milestone in its efforts to remove an unprecedented 3 million cubic yards of debris left behind by Hurricane Irma. DSWM crews and contractors together have collected more than 1.5 million cubic yards (1,598,778 cubic yards to be exact) of material through October 15, 2017, which is more than half of the original estimate. These numbers reflect the debris removed during the County’s first pass for hurricane debris collection.  A second debris collection effort is planned and will take place after the first pass is completed throughout the service area.

DSWM began the task of removing 3 million cubic yards of Hurricane Irma debris almost immediately after the all-clear was given as the storm left the Miami-Dade County area on September 11. To put this staggering amount into perspective, the debris left behind by Irma is roughly equivalent to 120,000 regular 25 cubic yard bulky waste pickups.  DSWM has more debris to handle from this solitary event than it manages in an entire year of bulky waste pickups and materials dropped off at its 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers.

While this accomplishment during the first pass of hurricane debris removal caps a month’s worth of effort, DSWM continues to aggressively address debris piles and urges Miami-Dade residents to remain patient. DSWM is responsible for removing hurricane debris for approximately 340,000 Miami-Dade households spread out across roughly 320 square miles, as well as material from the public rights-of-way and on County-maintained roads in unincorporated Miami-Dade and several municipalities. DSWM crews and contractors are working every day—including holidays and weekends—and will continue to do so until the last pile of debris is collected.

Hurricane Debris Removal Tips

Residents who are in areas that are still waiting for the first pass of debris removal crews are encouraged to adhere to the following debris removal tips:

  • Situate piles at the curb away from fire hydrants, parked cars, utility poles, mailboxes, healthy trees 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.
  • Small amounts of hurricane debris can be dropped off by DSWM customers at the Department’s 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers http://www.miamidade.gov/solidwaste/trash-recycling.asp#1.

Residents are reminded that hurricane debris removal is only for hurricane debris – residents should not place non-hurricane related bulky items on a hurricane debris pile.

Post-Hurricane Irma Landscape Maintenance

Residents conducting general landscape maintenance on their properties are discouraged from placing non-hurricane related landscape debris on top of hurricane debris piles. Placing general landscaping maintenance materials on the pile could prolong the collection in the area and could also be considered illegal dumping subject to citation. Residents with landscape maintenance yard waste can dispose of it at one of the Department’s 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers. Hired landscapers should take yard waste from general landscape maintenance to an approved disposal site.

Bulky Waste Scheduling Remains Suspended

DSWM customers are reminded that due to hurricane removal efforts, bulky waste scheduling remains suspended until further notice. Customers can dispose of bulky waste items by bringing them to one of the Department’s 13 Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Centers.

Miami-Dade residents interested in updates on DSWM’s debris removal progress have a number of options at their disposal. Residents can see if their home is an area that has been assigned to a contractor, is pending assignment or has been completed for the first pass of hurricane debris removal on the Hurricane Irma Debris Viewer. Countywide updates and tips for managing debris can be found on the Recovering Hurricane Irma Together web page. DSWM often posts updates on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. For general information on DSWM, residents can either call 311 or visit DSWM’s website.