Final hurricane debris collections in five Sarasota County zones to begin after Dec. 4

As of Nov. 21, more than 2.6 million cubic yards of materials picked up

All hurricane-related storm debris — including vegetative materials, construction and demolition items, and household goods — must be placed curbside by midnight on Sunday, Dec. 4, for Sarasota County collection zones N, E, M, C, S, county staff has announced.

Assessment teams working with Sarasota County debris contractors have been in the field, documenting materials that are eligible for collection during this final pass, staff notes.

Following a weeklong break for the Thanksgiving holiday, debris collection resumed on Nov. 28 in the unincorporated areas of the county, a news release notes. The process, which began on Oct. 6, had seen more than 2.6 million cubic yards of materials picked up as of Nov. 21, the release points out. That amount could fill more than 795 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the release adds.

As of Nov. 30, the collections added up to about 2.7 million cubic yards, county staff noted in a separate advisory.

“Areas within unincorporated county were divided into 38 collection zones to manage debris collection operations efficiently and safely,” the news release explains. As the collections near completion, the earlier release says, county staff has been developing the final plan for debris removal.

Any debris placed at curbside after the collections end will be the responsibility of the property owner, staff adds.

Freshly cut vegetative matter, as well as items from household moves or cleaned out garages — anything that is not the result of hurricane damage — is ineligible for collection and will not be picked up, the release emphasizes.

Additionally, any debris that was tagged by workers as having been improperly prepared for collection must be organized correctly at curbside before the zone deadline, the release says.

A county frequently asked questions (FAQ) document explains that each tag should show the type of remediation needed for the debris to qualify for collection.

The FAQ does note that tree stumps and root balls from residential properties that are placed on county right of way that are greater than 24 inches in diameter and measure no more than 4 feet from the base will be picked up toward the end of the debris collection process.

Further, county staff points out that commercial properties, commercial contractors and commercial tree services are not permitted to place construction and demolition or vegetative hurricane debris on public rights of way for county collection or to avoid disposal fees. “This is illegal dumping and is subject to code enforcement actions,” the release stresses.

Those entities are encouraged to work through their insurance companies, the Small Business Administration or other means for recovery and debris removal.

Remember to separate storm debris by type and place it at the curbside in the right of way away from mailboxes, utility connections, vehicles, telephone poles, and overhanging trees or wires, the release adds.

For more informationsee this FAQ or call 3-1-1, which connects a person to the county Contact Center for assistance.