Sep 222017

Monroe County’s contracted haulers have collected in Key Largo more than 15,000 cubic yards of debris caused by Hurricane Irma. The debris is taken to a temporary debris site set up at Monroe County’s Rowell’s Waterfront Park in Key Largo. Collections will continue 7 days a week in Key Largo.

Monroe County opened a second temporary debris site on Friday on Rockland Key, at about MM 8.5. Residents in the Lower Keys will begin this weekend to see trucks collecting debris form County right of ways.

Monroe County will soon be picking up debris on Conch Key, Long Key and Duck Key in the Middle Keys. Monroe County also will soon begin picking up debris for the municipalities of Layton and Key Colony Beach.

For unincorporated Monroe County, Layton and Key Colony Beach, it is estimated that there is about 2 to 2 ½ million cubic yards of debris to remove. This does not include the debris that is being picked up by the Keys’ other three municipalities: Key West, Marathon and Islamorada.

Debris removal is free for residents and business owners, but the following must be done.

Stack hurricane related debris on the county right of way (road shoulder) in front of homes. It must not block the road or driveways.

Do not put debris on vacant lots or other private property; It will not be picked up.

You must separate into five groups:

  • vegetative debris (tree branches, leaves)
  • seaweed
  • household appliances
  • household hazardous waste, which includes paints, cleaners, etc.
  • non-vegetative debris

This needs to be kept separate from regular household trash. Contents of refrigerators should be thrown out in regular trash. This gets picked up by regular garbage collection.

In addition to household trash, things that are not eligible for pick up by debris contractor include cars, trucks, motor cycles, trailers, boats or other watercraft and car parts like tires.

In the areas that have vacuum sewers in Key Largo and Tavernier, make sure not to stack debris near sewer system breathers, which are in the right of way. In the Upper Keys they look like small concrete pillars.

Debris also should be kept away from fire hydrants, utility poles, power lines, water valve boxes, sewer valve boxes, mail boxes and vaccum sewer system breathers.

Collection of debris in the Upper Keys will begin soon. More detailed information about schedule will be provided.  There will be multiple passes through all neighborhoods. * *@monroecounty

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Blue Paper Editor
Naja Girard
 September 22, 2017  Posted by at 10:45 pm News  Add comments


  1. I recall after Hurricane Wilma in much of Key West and up US 1 and on interior streets on the lower Keys endless piles of debris that took a long time to be removed. In the low lying parts of Key West, which were covered in Wilma’s tidal surge, after a street was cleared, homeowners produced just as many and big more piles of debris. It took the mainland contract haulers 2 passes to remove all the debris from those Key West streets. Assistant City Manager John Jones told me Key West lost l0,000 motor vehicles (cars and trucks) during Wilma’s tidal surge. That was on top of the piles of debris. Motor scooters,lawnmowers, bicycles, household appliances, air conditioners, beds, sofas, chairs, rugs, sheetrock, plaster, plumbing and electrical fixtures, shrubs, small trees, tree limps. Trees and shrubs were leafless for a long time after Wilma. The lower Keys looked like a wasteland. What do they look like today? How many motor vehicles and motor scooters were lost due to saltwater getting into them? How many power poles were knocked down. Todd German told me at least 50 percent of the power poles in the lower Keys were down. Are there photos, videos? And, still I have read and seen nothing reported about the many residential sewage grinder pumps in Cudjoe Regional Sewer District (Lower Sugarloaf up through Big Pine Key), which need electricity operate and do not care to be submerged in seawater. Is silence about the grinder pumps golden?

  2. It will take time to clean this up. We seen the piles for 3 years on Krome in Homestead from Andrew. The impact on the keys will likely last months or years.

    Now watch the developers start buying up the ROGO to build even more high end property in Key West.

    This could help or hurt Key West with millions of insurance money. Likely it will scar KW for life.

    Many will see this as the perfect time to sell or buy and we will be buying if we see a good deal.

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