sanford, florida – Mountains and piles of storm debris fill local dumps. We wait in line for trucks to unload before continuing our tour of the worst-hit areas of central Florida.
“That’s when you get an idea of its scope and scale,” said Hector Valle, manager of the Seminole County Solid Waste Department.
Debris ends up in four different dumpsites throughout Seminole County. They are building mountains about 20 feet high. Combined, the debris would cover 20 football fields.
“We work 12 hours a day from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week until the job is done,” says Valle.
Each of Seminole County’s 86 trucks makes three to four trips a day. So far, the county has recovered 24% of the plant debris left by Ian.
“I’m overjoyed,” said Lake Mary resident Tommy Miller. “I’m glad to be off the grass.”
Not everything was taken from Tommy Miller’s garden, though. A black garbage bag was left behind.
All you need for those tracks is some plant debris. We don’t need these other materials,” Valle said.
Any plant debris taken to the dump site becomes mulch. Plastic and household debris in the debris will ruin your grinder. Almost all clean mulch is reused.
Once everything is shattered, the dump fills with all the other trash the storm has created.
“We estimate that perhaps 40 to 50 percent of the gross tonnage will be construction and demolition debris when all is completed,” says Valle.
Once all the plant debris has been collected, the truck returns to pick up the household chaos the storm caused.
Overall, the cleanup effort can take up to two months.