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Posted on: September 16, 2018

FEMA-Authorized Debris Removal Company Could Soon be Reassigned

Hauling Away Storm Debris

Update: Wednesday, October 10, 2018


City residents are urged to get their Hurricane Florence debris to the curb as soon as possible, as the City’s FEMA authorized debris removal company will be assigning some of the vehicles that were at work in Jacksonville to help Hurricane Michael affected communities. But, it should be after Michael passes.

Most of the City has had two rounds of yard waste debris pickup. Many areas have had multiple construction debris pickups. The City’s contractor does not believe there is enough left at the curb in Jacksonville to warrant the fleet of trucks now in place. The contractor is proposing to reassign trucks to where they can be ready to assist communities there with debris pickup after Hurricane Michael.

While the date for the last pickup has not been set, City Manager Richard Woodruff is strongly encouraging residents to have their debris out to the curb by Wednesday, October 24, 2018. It will take some time after that date to pick up what is left. Debris pick up could be hampered by cars parked in the street or other hazards which block streets.

It is expected that a smaller contingent of trucks will be retained by the City to handle the remaining debris. There is a point where the cost of the FEMA authorized debris contractor is not reimbursable by FEMA, and any cost would have to be borne by the City.

So far, the City debris pickup bill, expected to be reimbursed by FEMA, is at $3.9 million. That would require about an 11 cent property tax increase to offset, if not for the FEMA funding.

After the FEMA authorized debris removal contractor has left, and City crews are alone to pick up debris, normal charges and normal rules are likely to apply. This includes a charge for any vegetative or yard waste debris over a cord in size. Other debris may incur a special charge for removal. JacksonvilleNC.gov/Sanitation has more information.

In some cases, the City does not have the equipment to remove the heavy vegetative debris that the FEMA authorized contractor has had in place. This particularly applies to extraordinary large trees where the weight will be too much for the City’s equipment.

So far, more than 12 football fields, from end-zone to end-zone ten-feet-high, have been collected in vegetative debris. Another 11.8 tons of construction and demolition debris has been collected in the 18 days the FEMA authorized contractor has been on site. 

Residents are reminded that it is unlawful to open burn debris without a permit in the City. More than ninety unlawful burning activities have been stopped in the City.


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Update: Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Enough Hurricane Florence tree and yard debris has been collected in Jacksonville to fill six football fields, goal post to goal post, ten feet high. It is the estimate of the City that it could be December before all the vegetative, construction and demolition debris is collected. And, now is the time to be getting stuff to the curb for pickup.

Thirty collection trucks with pick up arms and trailers are in the field seven days a week to collect the vegetative debris, and now, also the construction and demolition debris. City crews are continuing regular garbage pickup, helping with smaller piles on yard waste day as well as appliances, electronics and other special items.

Contract debris removal crews have been on the job since the winds died down. The City has a previously executed contract with a debris management firm in the event of an emergency event such as a hurricane. The management firm works to ensure the actions taken are eligible for FEMA reimbursement to the City. The current bill is more than $1.8 million for the first ten days into the collection work. That would require about a five-cent property tax increase if not for the FEMA reimbursement.

Therefore, residents are urged to place items as soon as possible at the curb while the contract crews are here. It is not practical to extend the crews beyond the time when the City crews can pick up the remainder. Please place yard waste and vegetative debris in one pile, construction and demolition items in another and pile separately electronics and discarded appliances. Each pile should be at least three feet apart from the other.

At this time, the contract crews have not finished their first round of the City for yard waste and vegetative debris. More than 2,100 loads of vegetative debris have been collected and placed at the City’s temporary mulching site across from the Center from Public Safety. A second round will be made when the first round is completed. The contract crews are also assisting in keeping streets clear by cutting limbs that are a danger to safe passage.

Residents are reminded that it is unlawful to open burn debris without a permit in the City. More than forty unlawful burning activities have been stopped in the City. Also, please don’t park cars on the streets during this time as this impedes traffic, can be dangerous for emergency vehicles and in some cases, causes debris pickup to be postponed.


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Update: Friday, September 21, 2018


A contractor has started picking up Hurricane Florence debris in the City of Jacksonville. The City is urging people to keep their debris separated by type, with a pile for yard waste and a pile for construction debris and other household items.

It is important to separate debris from other items because the hauler is not able to pick up mixed piles of debris. It is also important to get the debris to the curb in order for the contractor to reach the piles.

City crews and a contractor are hauling the yard waste material to a vacant lot across the street from the Center for Public Safety. The vegetative material will be chipped at this location and eventually taken to the Onslow County landfill for final disposal.

Wally Hansen, Director of Public Services, says the debris removal operation will be an ongoing effort. “The hauler will be here for multiple weeks making sure that they get everything up and we want to make sure that we are able to gather everything and dispose of it appropriately.”

Please use caution when you see debris removal teams as they are using large, heavy machinery that may back up frequently in narrow neighborhood streets. Monitor crews are following the haulers to ensure that the City of Jacksonville can request reimbursement from FEMA for debris removal.

For any questions regarding debris pick up please call the City of Jacksonville Citizen Phone Bank at 910 938-5200.

Collection of Household and Recycling containers will resume a normal schedule next week.


Reminder: It is against City policy to burn trash and yard debris. All questions regarding the City ordinance regarding outdoor fires should be directed to the Fire Prevention Division at 910 455-8080. View the City's ordinance on outdoor fires online.

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Update: Sunday, September 16, 2018


On Monday, September 17, 2018, residential sanitation crews will be clearing and pushing yard waste to the edge of the roadway for pickup on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 and throughout the week. 

- Household sanitation collection will resume Tuesday, September 18 starting with the Monday route. 

- On Wednesday, September 19,  crews will pick up the Tuesday route. 

- Thursday and Friday routes will be collected as regularly scheduled. 

- On Saturday, Crews will be dedicated to yard waste pick up. 


Please put your items in separate areas in front of your home on the curb, not in the street. Streets need to be clear so that they will not flood. As you are working to clean up your yards, please keep the storm drains clear. Do not place debris in storm drains. 


The City apologizes for damage to any yards from these piles, but the process is necessary to keep the streets clear and prevent additional flooding and debris in the stormwater system. 


Please place the items in these separate areas at the curb, not in the street: 

Pile 1: Yard Waste

- Leaves, branches, trees

- Do not move waste with downed lines 

Pile 2: Construction Debris & Household Items

- Decking, shingles, sheet rock, furniture, wet carpeting, fences, appliances, electronics

- Residential Rollout Container, household garbage; will also accept bagged items

- Recycling Rollout Container, acceptable recycling items 


If your residential containers are damaged or lost, call 910 938-5338 (limited number of containers and service available) 


Reminder: It is against City policy to burn trash and yard debris. All questions regarding the City ordinance regarding outdoor fires should be directed to the Fire Prevention Division at 910 455-8080.

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