Storm debris total in the county climbs to more than 3.2 million cubic yards

Materials set at curbside for collection after midnight on Dec. 4 ineligible for pickup as part of post-Ian county service

During the first pass of Hurricane Ian storm debris collections in the unincorporated areas of Sarasota County, more than 3,161,755 cubic yards of eligible materials were removed, county staff noted in a Dec. 9 update.

As of Dec. 11, that figure had grown to 3,213,109 cubic yards, county staff noted in an advisory.

During an Oct. 3 discussion with the County Commission, County Administrator Jonathan Lewis said staff estimated that the vegetative debris — such as heavy tree branches, palm fronds and logs — would total approximately 1.5 million cubic yards. He added that staff had calculated another 200,000 cubic yards of structural debris and about 150,000 cubic yards of “mixed, flood-generated debris,” would need to be picked up, as a result of Hurricane Ian’s strike on Lee County on Sept. 28.

With the second pass of debris collections underway this week in the county, the Communications Department team continues to remind residents, with emphasis, “NOT to place any additional storm debris at the curb,” as county Media Relations Officer Brianne Grant put it in that update.

The deadline for setting out remaining storm debris was midnight on Dec. 4, Grant wrote.

Any additional vegetative materials that need to be disposed of, which were not placed curbside by midnight on Dec. 4, “should be properly prepared and placed separately at the curb for collection by Waste Management during regular yard waste collection services,” Grant continued.

To properly prepare yard waste materials, residents should do the following, she added:

  • Bag or bundle leaves, small branches and moss.
  • Ensure that individual items placed in bags or bundles are less than 4 feet in length, and make certain that no container weighs more than 40 pounds.

“Any debris piles that were marked with a neon yellow tag prior to midnight on Dec. 4 should have been remediated for collection,” Grant pointed out. If that did not happen, she added, “the pile will be recorded as ineligible and will not be collected.

Further, she noted, “Any debris piles tagged on or after Dec. 5 are deemed ineligible for collection.”
Additionally, Grant pointed out, “Green or fresh yard waste and vegetative debris mixed with bags or other types of debris will be tagged and marked ineligible for collection during the final pass. For more information, click here.”

For anyone wishing to take debris to the Central County Landfill near Venice, Grant noted that the facility is located at 4000 Knights Trail Road in Nokomis. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Standard disposal fees apply. 

For additional information, visit the Hurricane Ian Recovery Solid Waste page, call 311, or see this video update.