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Final Push for Hurricane Ian Debris Begins Monday, Dec. 5

Published on Dec 2, 2022

Bartow, Fla. (December 2, 2022) —  Polk County’s hurricane debris hauler will begin its final push through Polk County on Monday, December 5, 2022. Residents must have any remaining debris generated by Hurricane Ian at the curb, in the public right-of-way, by that morning

While some residents have not received service yet, this “final pass” will have a multiple step verification to ensure that every road, public and private, does not have hurricane debris on the roadside by mid-January.

Hurricane debris haulers will begin the final pass in south Polk and will move north with debris collection substantially completed by Christmas in Polk County. This includes unincorporated Polk and all municipalities except Lakeland. The City of Lakeland has a separate debris collection contract.

As of Wednesday, November 30, more than 950,500 cubic yards of debris from Hurricane Ian has been collected.

Hurricane debris is not collected by locally-contracted haulers or municipalities. If you are mixing your weekly routine yard waste and bulk (furniture and appliances) waste with hurricane debris, it may not be picked up.

Residents are reminded that hauling equipment that picks up the debris cannot navigate under overhead power lines, low hanging tree branches or piles that are too close to mailboxes, tree trunks, fences or other permanent objects. If cars are parked in front of hurricane debris, haulers cannot collect your debris pile.

Smaller pieces of debris, such as leaves and small sticks which cannot be picked up by the truck’s claw or front-end loader, should be raked and placed in a container for your regular yard waste collection. Do not put your yard debris in your regular garbage or recycling containers.

“It is important that residents help us help them collect all remaining hurricane debris in this final pass,” said Deputy County Manager Ryan Taylor. “If there are obstacles to collecting debris, such as materials stacked where we cannot access them, then the county cannot efficiently clear the right of ways.”

Once the county’s storm-debris collection program ends in a few weeks, the Landfill will still accept your debris. However, you will need to self-haul debris and tipping fees at the Landfill will apply.

“Debris removal monitors will inspect each roadway, except those within the City of Lakeland, before considering it complete,” said Taylor. “Monitors inspecting the collection process will green-light each street as haulers complete collection efforts.

Residents are encouraged to check the county’s website and social media, starting December 5, for a link that will provide daily updates for roads that have deemed completed. A green light map will be available and updated daily, and be accessible on the county’s website.  You may click the link, then click the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the map to enter your address to see if your road has been completed. 

Residents who see that their street has been “green-lighted” who still have missed hurricane debris can call the debris hotline at (800) 375-0844.