Information on the removal of storm debris caused by Hurricane Irma.
Landfill Tipping Fees
At the Sept 19 BOCC meeting the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners voted to extend the waiver of tipping fees for residential customers (not commercial) for storm debris classified as yard waste and for Construction and Demolition (C&D) material until October 17th, 2017. Any other waste classified as Class 1 garbage material will still be charged the normal tipping fees ($45) per ton. Yard waste and C&D material brought in by commercial contractors or coming from commercial sites will be charged normal tipping fees ($25/Ton).
Curbside Garbage Program
This week only garbage and bulk garbage material was picked up by Waste Connections. Starting Monday, Sept 25, 2017, they will begin picking up both garbage and recycling. Starting Monday Sept 25, 2017 the bulk/yard trash will return to the normal rotation. Next week will be another bulk item pickup. Yard trash (not counted as storm debris) will be picked up starting Monday October 2nd. All routes will run on the normal scheduled days. Reasonable amounts (up to 6 cubic yards) of bagged or bundled yard waste will be picked up on the normal scheduled yard waste week. This is separate from the storm debris.
Storm Debris Cleanup
Crews will be working County wide to pick up storm related debris from the public right-of-way. This includes the municipalities of Avon Park, Sebring, and Lake Placid. They will also pick up material that originated on residential property placed in the right-of-way at no cost. This material must be in the public right-of-way and must not have originated from commercial, industrial, or agricultural property. Debris from these areas should be brought to the Highlands County Landfill or other approved facility for disposal.
This cleanup effort began on Sept 16th and will continue for the next 60-90 days until the right-of-way and public areas are cleaned up. They will be making approximately 3 passes through each area over this time but residents are encouraged to bring their storm related vegetative debris or C&D debris to the road right-of-way for pickup as early as possible. There are no set schedules of when they will be in a particular area yet as we are still adding more crews daily to the effort.
The debris must be placed in separate piles of natural vegetative material and C&D materials. Treated lumber such as that used on docks and fences are considered C&D and should not be mixed with the vegetative material. Vegetative material may not be placed in plastic bags for this pickup service. This material will be burned and no non-organic materials will be allowed in this material.
Debris should be placed roadside, not in the roadways, ditches, or on sidewalks. Debris located within ditches or swales may cause drainage issues.
Do not place storm debris over or near any structures or items that could be damaged by equipment (telephone boxes, power poles, mail boxes, storm drains, water meters, etc). Also do not place piles under tree limbs or other vertical obstructions.
Please avoid areas where collection activities are occurring. Equipment being used can be very dangerous and has many blind spots so stay away!
Contractors can cut up the debris and trees if in the public right-of-way but are not authorized to enter private property. Please bring any debris for removal to the public right-of-way for pickup.
Private roadway and gated communities will be addressed soon but are not currently authorized for pickup. We are working on this to get them included as soon as we possibly can.