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Last of hurricane debris to be picked up in Orange & Seminole

Debris piled up outside a house in downtown Orlando after Hurricane Irma. Courtesy Matias de la Jara
Debris piled up outside a house in downtown Orlando after Hurricane Irma. Courtesy Matias de la Jara

Orange and Seminole counties are preparing to pick up the last of storm debris leftover from hurricanes Ian and Nicole.

Orange announced Tuesday that debris removal will be completed on Dec. 16.

County workers have collected 90% of the debris accounting for 270,000 cubic yards of waste.

Seminole County announced Wednesday that its final push for the outstanding 15% of uncollected debris will occur from Dec. 12 - Dec. 22. The county has already picked up 400,000 cubic yards worth of demolition and yard waste.

Hector Valle, interim solid waste division manager, said the county still has about 100,000 cubic yards worth of waste to go before it's done. Part of the reason for Seminole's long-time pick-up was due to operational miscommunications, Valle said.

"Some areas were skipped because the addresses were not clear. You know? Some cities in the county contracted their own haulers and sometimes it wasn't clear to haulers where the city ended and the county began," Valle said.

The county also asked residents who have been waiting to see their pile removed, to please not add to it before FEMA contractors come to collect it as they will not pick up bundles with green vegetation inside, nor will they pick up bags.

"This is not opp for cutting hedges," Valle said. "The reason is that if it's green then it's obviously not from the hurricanes and FEMA will not reimburse us for that."

Green vegetation waste will be picked at a later date and should be placed in a separate pile from hurricane waste, Valle added.

The county also requests demolition waste and yard debris be separated into two different bundles.

"We’re gonna do our best to collect what's left out there. Residents are welcome to call to add their address to our list by calling our customer service line," Valle said.

To do so, call Seminole at 407-665-7219.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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