A report from the City of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department shows more than a million cubic yards of debris from Hurricane Harvey were cleared out from the city at the time of publication.
While this amount may seem significant, the report further provided it represents only 20 percent of the total debris the department expects to remove from affected areas from a first pass of the city.
The report also shows a second pass is expected to take up to 60 days, potentially ending by December 1; officials said they expect to make a third and final pass, but no dates are announced for these efforts at this time.
Solid Waste Management Director Harry Hayes told Houston City Council the process may take longer than expected and depend largely on the cooperation of residents:
“We’re gonna be slow and deliberate because we think there’s still a sizable debris field that folks have not brought to the curb,” Hayes said in a statement to the Council.
In statements, city officials asked residents to separate their home debris from normal garbage and broken tree limbs; they requested debris, such as sheetrock, carpeting and other flood-damaged parts of the homes, also be kept separate from other items intended for disposal.
They further say another ongoing aspect of the debris disposal process is the suspension of curbside recycling.
While some private entities are reportedly stepping in offering curbside pickup for recyclables, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced he wants the city to restart its recycling efforts by early November.
Still, other parts of Harris County are going through their own issues in the debris removal process:
In northwest Harris County, officials estimated their first pass of debris disposal is more than halfway completed.
The Harris County Engineering Department, which is directing the cleanup efforts outside of Houston, however, did not announce when the first pass will be complete or when next pass will start.
If you need or would like to help in Houston, read more here.