Hurricane Debris & Garbage Collection
Freshwater Canal Debris Removal Update
We are tracking canal debris removal requests for action. Canal debris removal is an ongoing process addressing many locations with blocked canals, floating and submerged debris. Freshwater canal debris removal operations are on a currently on a temporary hold since March until we receive direction from National Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) on our grant application for remaining debris removal operations. Once we receive notification operations will resume and will update the webpage. Thank you for your patience.
Household Garbage Collection
Waste Pro is now collecting household garbage, recycling, bulk trash, and horticulture waste according to its normal collection schedule. (Curbside storm debris collection has ended.)
Canal Debris Removal
Canal debris removal is nearly complete. Final punch list items are currently being conducted and are expected to be completed by the end of April.
- View Waterway Debris Collection Map
- See Frequently Asked Questions (i.e., how storm debris is removed, if wildlife is affected, etc.)
Waste Pro Bin Replacement & Interim Waste Collection Instructions
If your Waste Pro trash or recycling bin was damaged or displaced as a result of Hurricane Ian, kindly call the Citizens Action Center at 3-1-1 via cell phone or 239-574-0425 to order a replacement bin. Please note that it could take several months to receive your new bin, so please be patient. In the meantime:
Trash may be placed in plastic bags by the curb no earlier than 5 p.m. the day prior to your regular trash collection day. Each bag cannot weigh more than 50 pounds and should be stacked neatly.
Recycling may be placed in an empty cardboard box with the words “RECYCLE” written large and clear enough for the driver to see set next to the can. Each box should be placed neatly at the curb and cannot weigh more than fifty (50) pounds.
Hurricane Debris & Garbage
ROW debris removal operations ceased on 1/28/2023, and the City has reverted back to pre-storm solid waste collection and penalties for illegal dumping. Residents can take debris to the following locations (or have their contractor remove Construction & Demolition from construction projects, including remolding, fencing, pool cages, roofing, etc.)
- Resource Recovery Facility (No shingles)
- Address: 10500 Buckingham Road, Fort Myers, FL 33905
- Hours of Operation:
- Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday - 6 a.m. to noon
- Call: 239-533-8000 for questions
- Lee/Hendry Regional Solid Waste Disposal Facility (will accept shingles)
- Address: 5500 Church Road, Felda, FL 33930
- Hours of Operation:
- Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Saturday, 7 a.m. - noon
- Lee County asked us to remind residents the Pine Island drop-off site is for Pine Island and Matlacha residents only. They are turning all others.
- Resident Drop off on NW 14th Ave just south of Kismet Pkwy W - Open Tue-Sat, 8 am-4 pm; See solid waste webpage for acceptable and unacceptable waste.
Will debris be removed from the City’s canals?
Debris is being removed from the canals by Ceres Environmental, the debris removal contractor, and their subcontractors on behalf of the City. Marine-based operations are expected to be completed by the end of April.
Why are land crews leaving debris in canals after conducting land-based operations?
Any land debris that is purposely moved to a canal is a result of debris that cannot be reached by the land-based equipment; therefore, the crews note the location and will return by barge/boat to remove it.
How do they remove debris from canals?
Canal debris removal operations began on 11/7/22 with land-based operations. Land-based debris removal crews access the canal from the street, travel the length of an easement to the back of the property, and remove both vegetative and C&D debris accessible along the canal within the easement itself or in the canal within reach from the easement. Debris removal crews remove and track out debris along the easement back to the street. Debris removal crews stage debris at the street ROW for collection by self-loading knuckle boom trucks or other suitable hauling units. The debris is then collected and hauled to the closest DDMS accepting vegetation, while C&D debris is sent directly to the landfill.
Per the Section 404 permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, debris removal crews cut down trees along the canal and flip the stump back into the stump hole. Debris removal crews then flush cut trees to the best of their abilities, given all safety concerns present onsite. This may result in stump stems up to 2 feet from an expected flush cut. This represents a mitigation measure to prevent additional soil loss from the property entering the canal system by allowing the resulting stump and its roots to hold soil in place.
Upon completion or near completion of land-based canal debris removal operations, the contractor will begin the collection of all submerged and visual targets identified for removal. Debris removal crews shall remove targets by the most appropriate means possible, generally using a fast picker barge and spud barge. Debris removal crews will barge debris to Points of Access (POAs) identified by the City. POAs may be public boat ramps, public property used as a POA, or possible vacant properties previously used for land-based canal debris removal operations.
Debris piles placed at public boat ramps or other public property used as POAs are either marked or flagged for debris removal collection by self-loading knuckle boom trucks or other suitable hauling units. The debris is then collected and hauled to the closest DDMS accepting vegetation, while C&D debris is sent directly to the landfill. Sonar may be used to determine if all submerged debris has been cleared and meets FEMA eligibility. Once a canal is determined to be cleared, we recommend that boaters continue to use caution as they would normally when navigating waterways.
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Are endangered species and wildlife being protected as canal debris is removed?
Regarding the collection of canal debris and protected species, the debris hauler and third-party contractor (Ceres Environmental) are aware and educated on protocols to follow when they encounter protected species. Before entering a lot, the third-party contractor walks the lot to assess it for issues and look for any protected species. If there are any protected species observed, the proper protocols are followed to ensure the required buffer is maintained and to minimize any disturbance to the animal. FWC is investigating the concerns and has not found any evidence of harm to animals.
Why is green vegetation being removed from canals?
Regarding the removal of green vegetation, there are two scenarios where this may occur:
- The fallen tree may have green vegetation despite the fact that it was uprooted. Green vegetation can remain on fallen trees for up to 4 to 6 months, but our Army Corps of Engineers permit requires that fallen trees are cut, and all material left over must be removed.
- Green/living vegetation may need to be removed in order for crews to access the hurricane debris. This is, unfortunately, a part of the recovery efforts.
The contractors and debris monitors assigned to each contractor crew are the checks and balances to ensure that protocols are being followed. Also, City staff spot-check sites and crews and follow up with all concerns/complaints made by residents to ensure protocols and processes are being followed.