The City of Wilmington is now doubling estimates of the amount of yard debris that needs to be picked up from February’s ice storm from 50,000 cubic yards to 100,000 cubic yards. The new estimates come as city and contract crews have picked up a first round of debris from more than half of the city and have already exceeded the original estimate of 50,000 cubic yards. (See picture below that shows trucks at the debris drop-off site located off old Wrightsboro Road with debris piled up as tall as the trees beside it.)
The city’s contractor is extending their hours and bringing in more crews with larger equipment to handle the increase and still anticipates completing pick-up the first week of April. City staff say the reason for the increase is two-fold: original estimates didn’t include debris from backyards that was not initially visible; and many residents are clearing out their backyards as they pick-up from the storms. In order not to slow down pickup, citizens are asked not to cut down trees and put them out for pickup at this time unless they are from the storm.
The additional debris removal will result in an estimated $800,000 increase in debris removal costs for a total of $1.4 million. A resolution to approve funding for the additional cost will be considered by City Council at their March 18 meeting. Funding for emergencies such as this is set aside in the city’s budget each year.
The contracted crews are working 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. It will take time for crews to collect all the storm debris from the ice storm. The city appreciates the patience of our citizens as we work to clean the area.