Hurricane Debris Call Center to Close Jan. 15
Published on Jan 13, 2023
Bartow, Fla. (January 13, 2023) — After 100 days, Polk County is winding down its hurricane debris collection service. Sunday, January 15 will be the final day for the Hurricane Ian Call Center to be operational as TetraTech, Polk’s debris monitoring service, reports that almost all roads have passed a final inspection for debris.Since October 3, 2022, 1.1 million cubic yards (1,101,920) of debris has been collected across Polk County. Following Hurricane Irma, about 1.9 million cubic yards of debris was collected over 180 days.
“Calls reporting missed hurricane debris are increasingly coming from residents with freshly-cut (green) vegetation,” said Deputy County Manager Ryan Taylor. “These piles cannot be collected as hurricane debris.”
Green vegetation in hurricane debris loads is not eligible for FEMA reimbursement. Newly cut, green vegetation must be treated as routine yard waste by residential customers in unincorporated Polk County and all municipalities except Lakeland. Lakeland has a separate contract for hurricane debris service.
Beginning Monday, January 16, residents who wish to report hurricane debris that was not collected can enter a Hurricane Debris Service Request in the “Let’s Chat” pop-up window on the Polk County website at www.polk-county.net or text “hello” to (888) 299-Polk (7655). Follow the prompts to enter your address and contact information.
After completing a service request, a debris monitor will be sent to residential addresses to determine if piles are eligible as hurricane debris or are routine waste. If determined to be eligible, a truck will be dispatched to collect debris. If debris does not meet FEMA standards for hurricane debris, then residents will be responsible for their piles.
Once the county’s storm-debris collection program ends Sunday, the North Central Landfill will still accept debris; however, residents will need to self-haul debris and tipping fees at the Landfill will apply.