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Debris Collection Nearing End of First Pass Through Polk County

Published on Nov 7, 2022

Bartow, Fla. (November 7, 2022) — After 35 days of hurricane debris collection from Ian, Polk County’s contracted hauler, AshBritt,Inc. has picked up 723,476 cubic yards, or roughly 180,869 tons of debris which has been registered for FEMA at the debris management sites.

About 75 tandem trucks, which are two units connected, are running throughout the county daily. When the county began collection on October 3, trucks started in the southern portion of the county and how now worked their way into the Northeast. Residents will start seeing a heavier concentration of trucks from Haines City to Poinciana this week.

“We are aware of some gaps and holes in our coverage area,” said Deputy County Manager Ryan Taylor. “Every route is being mapped by TetraTech, our debris hauling monitoring service. “In many neighborhoods, tandem trucks cannot enter streets that are narrow, have narrow cul-de-sacs, or dead end. The trucks are too long to navigate these areas. In these situations, debris will not be able to be collected until smaller trucks are available.”

Residents are also reminded that these claw trucks that are picking up debris cannot navigate obstructions, such as power lines, low tree canopies, cars parked in the streets, or permanent objects including trees, mailboxes or fences. If vegetative debris is co-mingled with fencing, construction materials and household items, it will not be picked up until the final pass. Leaves, moss and small twigs must be bagged for collection. 

The second pass of debris collection will begin the week after Thanksgiving, moving from north to south back across Polk County. 

If your debris has been collected, Polk County also asks that you clean any remaining leaves or small sticks that may have been left behind in the roadway.

“There is a possibility of more heavy rain this week from Subtropical Storm Nicole. We want to avoid jamming storm sewers and keep all decaying vegetation from ending up in our waterbodies,” Taylor said.