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Update - City of Ocala Hurricane Debris Collection

Post Date:10/05/2017 4:23 PM

OCALA, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2017) – The City of Ocala and its FEMA-approved debris management contractor, Crowder-Gulf, are continuing to collect hurricane debris in all four quadrants of the City limits following Hurricane Irma. The first of three anticipated passes for hurricane debris collection began Monday, Sept. 18 and is expected to be completed by Monday, Oct. 9, weather permitting. The second pass for hurricane debris collection is expected to begin immediately following completion of the first pass and should be completed in approximately three weeks, with the possible exception of private roads and commercial properties, such as businesses, churches and apartment complexes, which may take longer.

“We have every indication that Hurricane Irma was as large, if not a larger event,  as far as hurricane debris and downed trees, than the storms we experienced in 2004,” said Ken Whitehead, Assistant City Manager, City of Ocala. “The southeast and northeast quadrants of the City were hit especially hard. The City estimates that approximately 150,000 cubic yards of hurricane debris will need to be collected, processed and disposed of following this hurricane. By comparison, 150,000 cubic yards of hurricane debris could cover an entire football field about 30-feet high.”

Crowder-Gulf and City of Ocala Public Works crews are working approximately 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week to assist the City with hurricane debris collection. The City of Ocala and Crowder-Gulf are not permitted to go onto private property to cut or remove hurricane debris, damaged, uprooted or fallen trees. In addition, crews will not be able to collect any hurricane debris that is not within the right of way, or is not within reach of the clamshell collection trucks from the public right-of-way.

Residents are asked to separate hurricane debris into three separate piles as listed below. Hurricane debris should not be placed in any containers or bags and the streets should be clear and open to traffic.

  • Vegetative debris
  • Construction and demolition debris (carpet, furniture, roof shingles, etc.)
  • Electrical appliances

Hurricane debris should not be placed directly under low hanging power and utility lines. Additionally, hurricane debris piles should be stacked at least five feet away from the following: 

  • Fire hydrants
  • Utility poles, light poles and communication pedestals
  • Low hanging power/utility lines
  • Water meters and gas meters
  • Electrical transformers
  • Mail boxes
  • Signage
  • Vehicles
  • Storm culverts
  • Fences

Residential properties that have hurricane debris awaiting pick up should not commingle their regular yard waste with hurricane debris. Normal yard waste collection resumed Monday, Sept. 18 for residential properties within the City limits that are clear of hurricane debris and are generating normal yard waste.

Private tree contractors are permitted to cut fallen trees damaged from Hurricane Irma from private property and move that hurricane debris to the edge of the road for collection. However, property owners should be vigilant and make sure they are not charged by their contractor for disposal since it will be collected by the City or their debris management contractor. According to City officials, large tree stumps and tree trunks will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis at a later date as equipment is available.

All hurricane debris collected within the City limits will be processed at a City-owned property located on SW 38th Street just west of the Ocala International Airport or at the City of Ocala Municipal Services Complex located at 1805 NE 30th Ave. After being processed, hurricane debris will be ground and placed into a landfill at the City’s contracted yard waste disposal site, Friends Recycling, located at 2350 NW 27th Ave. 

For FEMA reimbursement purposes, residents and private contractors are not permitted by FEMA or the City of Ocala to take their hurricane debris to Friends Recycling. If residents or anyone other than the City’s hurricane debris management contractor takes their hurricane debris to Friends Recycling or another facility, it is at their expense and they will not be reimbursed.  

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala at 352-629-2489.