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Thursday, June 30, 2016
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Storm debris removal

Storm debris pick-up
At their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, the Wilmington City Council will consider authorizing extra personnel to help pick up debris from last week’s ice storm.

Council is expected to consider designating approximately $800,000 from the city’s savings account to pay an Alabama company that was previously selected through a competitive bid process to activate pick-up operations here. The city maintains a savings account – called a fund balance – to pay for unexpected expenses such as clean up from severe weather events.

Extra city crews have been working to clear debris since last week. The city’s Public Services Director reported to City Council that, even with the extra crews working, only about 1,200 cubic yards of an estimated 50,000 cubic yards from the storm have been picked up so far.

If Council approves funding to bring in the extra help for debris removal, city officials estimate it would take approximately 5-6 weeks to pick up debris citywide. If only using city crews, who would be pulled off of their regular duties, it would take 17 weeks.

To provide some perspective on size:  50,000 cubic yards of debris would fill up to eight football fields. The city serves more than 30,000 customers with weekly curbside yard waste pick-up, and maintains 400 miles of roads throughout the city, many of which have storm debris on the side of the road that has to be picked up.

Residential trash, recycling and yard waste pick-up
Trash and recycling pickup routes will run on a regular schedule this week. Yard waste is not likely to be picked up on regular schedule until more debris is cleared from roadsides, so customers are asked to leave their yard waste out until crews can get to it. 

It will take time for crews to collect all the debris from this ice storm. The city appreciates the cooperation and patience of our citizens.

Tips for yard debris pick up

  • Do not burn yard debris.
  • Place small debris such as leaves, pinecones, etc. in containers or bags. 
  • Do not blow leaves and other debris into streets or storm drains– the debris eventually reaches storm drains, causing flooding in low-lying areas during heavy rains. 
  • Do not place debris near mailboxes, fire hydrants, telephone and utility equipment, sewer clean-outs, water meters, drainage ditches or storms sewers.
  • Do not block public roadways or drivers’ vision with debris.
  • Do not mix vegetative debris (limbs, leaves, etc) with household storm debris (appliances, fences, lumber, furniture, shingles, construction debris, etc).
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