Ask Amy: When will Harvey debris be removed?

Almost three weeks after Harvey hit the Houston area, homeowners still have mountains of debris piled up outside their homes. Some homeowners who are trying to clean up are asking consumer expert Amy Davis when they can expect the city or county to come remove the trash.

Both the city of Houston and Harris County officials said the process could take months.

Neither were able to provide a schedule that crews are using to determine which ZIP codes they will head to next.

They said they are working non-stop with extra resources.

The City of Houston Solid Waste Department posted a video on its Facebook page of crews working on Sunday. On Monday, pictures were posted of employees and more heavy trash trucks out of Austin that arrived in Houston to help.

Our crews working on this Sunday afternoon.

Posted by City of Houston Solid Waste Management on Sunday, September 10, 2017

If you have a truck and want to haul your own debris to one of six city of Houston neighborhood depositories, they are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. You will need to bring a photo ID to prove you live in the city. 

North - 9003 N Main 77022
Northwest - 14400 Sommermeyer 77041
Northeast - 5565 Kirkpatrick 77028
Southeast - 2240 Central Street 77017
South - 5100 Sunbeam 77033
Southwest - 10785 SW Freeway 77074

No household garbage, electronics or household hazardous waste is accepted.

The problem is even bigger in Harris County, where crews are handling debris removal precinct by precinct.

There are 1.2 million homes in Precinct 4 alone. Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle said they are going to the hardest hit areas first, where debris is blocking the doorways of homes and extending all the way out to the curb.

“This storm has been bigger than anything we’ve ever faced in our lifetimes and most likely the largest one we’ve had in history," Cagle said. "Because of the storm’s enormity, recovery is going to take a while. It took us three weeks to do the first pass with our contractors during the Tax Day floods. This being exponentially larger, you can imagine how it’s going to take us a while to do the first pass. It is our plan to do three passes through all the neighborhoods.”

The county is also still trying to set up debris management sites to help contractors in removing storm debris at a faster pace than if they waited in line at a landfill.

If you live in an unincorporated area of Harris County, you can take your debris to the Public Storm Debris Drop-Off Site at 13928 Humble Road in Tomball off Highway 249. It is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents of unincorporated Harris County must provide proof of residency and accompany their load.

For more information, call the Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline at 713-274-3880. Debris, whether you haul it or leave it curbside to be picked up, should be separated into the following categories:

• Vegetative debris (no bags allowed)
• Construction and demolition debris
• Small and large appliances (should be emptied and taped shut)
• Electronics
• Household hazardous waste (paint, batteries, tires)

Household hazardous waste should be taken to the County’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 6900 Hahl Road for disposal. For more information on household hazardous waste, visit www.hchhw.org.

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