By KAROLYN GEPHART
The City of Friendswood is urging its residents to follow procedures regarding storm debris.
Residents are urged to use caution when driving through neighborhoods with storm debris as piles may limit visibility at intersections or hide pedestrian traffic.
To help the cleanup process, residents are urged to avoid parking in front of debris piles.
Any items left on the curbside are subject to removal by the City’s storm debris contractor. If any resident has furniture or items that they are keeping or holding until insurance adjusters can view the items, these items should be placed in the back yard or very close to the residence.
City contractors are utilizing pickup trucks with trailers to collect large appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and water heaters. City contractors will not go into yards to collect items.
Contractors must be able to see what they are picking up to ensure it is storm debris. The landfill where it is taken is licensed to accept building materials but not expired food or hazardous material.
Anyone who has already put things into trash bags should separate these bags from the main debris pile. They will be picked up at a later time.
Or, residents can cut open the trash bags to expose the contents. In this way, the contractors can determine if the landfill is licensed to accept the items in the bags.
Storm debris must be separated into segregated piles: green waste or vegetative waste; white goods made up of large appliances.
The cleanup process started on Wednesday, Sept. 6 with trucks picking up storm debris. Trucks will complete multiple passes over the next several weeks. During the first pass, trucks will be picking up the most expedient debris they can find to help eliminate public health risks of floodwaters.
Debris that is inaccessible due to parked vehicles or other obstructions will be skipped during the first pass.
The City will not pick up damaged campers, RVs, or vehicles. All damaged vehicles need to be disposed of by their owners. Contractor trucks will only be picking up debris in areas affected by floodwaters. Those areas that did not flood will have to follow normal household garbage criteria.
Storm debris needs to be brought to the right of way for pick up.
Fire hydrants should not be blocked. Gas meter must be accessible and debris should not obscure stop signs, mailboxes, intersections or any other traffic control signage.
Residents are reminded that items left on the public right of way or curb are considered to be debris or garbage. The City does not consider furniture and appliances left on the curb and then taken by other people to be looting.
“The City of Friendswood wants to again thank residents for their patience as City services return to normal after Hurricane Harvey. Although garbage and recycling collection by the City’s vendor, Waste Connections, has resumed in Friendswood, trash trucks have not been able to complete their routes due to vehicles parked on both sides of the street. In many cases, alternative routes to houses are also blocked,” Mayor Kevin Holland said. “There is also an unusually high volume of trash to pick up, so garbage trucks have to drive to the landfill and unload much more often than normal, which has also delayed neighborhood collection.”
All debris trucks working within the City of Friendswood can be identified by a “Disaster Debris Hauler” placard. It includes a truck number, capacity, contractor name, disaster code and applicant’s name which is “Friendswood.”
These trucks are being monitored by men and women that are Tetra Tech employees in high visibility vests.