Release From Lee County Emergency Management Center:
- Since Lee County began collecting Hurricane Ian debris on October 4, contractors have worked seven days a week from sunup to sundown (except for Thanksgiving break). As of December 19, the astounding total of 5 million cubic yards of debris have been collected in unincorporated areas. This is enough material to fill Hertz Arena to the ceiling 13 times.
- On Pine Island and Matlacha alone, more than 700,000 cubic yards of material have been collected along with 54 tons of household hazardous waste. This accounts for 15% of the total volume cleaned up so far, even though the area comprises 2% of the population and contains 4% of housing units in unincorporated Lee County.
- Sometimes it appears that collection has not occurred on a specific street, when in fact crews did pass through the area but new material was subsequently moved to the curb. This is the natural process after such a large storm event, and crews will continue to make passes until all the storm debris is gone. The County has inspectors surveying the area continuously and is now attempting to prioritize areas where collection first occurred in October or early November.
- Between 18 and 28 debris removal crews are working in Pine Island and Matlacha every day. Additionally, the County opened a new Resident Dropoff Debris Site on Pine Island at Phillips Park the island’s center at 5675 Sesame Drive, Bokeelia, for those who want to dispose of their own vegetative and structural debris.
- You can see the piles of debris that crews have collected and find Resident Dropoff Debris Site hours and user requirements on our expanded Hurricane Ian debris website. Newly added is a special “Pine Island” navigation menu option: visit www.leegov.com/hurricane/storm/debris and click on Pine Island.
- The direct link is: https://www.leegov.com/hurricane/storm/debris/pineisland
- Lee County and its primary vendors—CrowderGulf and Thompson Consulting—are ensuring the proper disposal of hurricane debris in a manner that complies with FEMA regulations for expense reimbursement. Following the sometimes complex processes for federal reimbursement of cleanup expenses will save local taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
- Because Pine Island received catastrophic damage, the types and amounts of debris generated make removal a costly, complex, and lengthy operation. Hurricane Ian debris includes vegetation, common household garbage and personal belongings, construction and demolition debris, vehicles, food waste, white goods (e.g., household appliances, air conditioners), and household hazardous waste. Each category of debris must be managed in a way that prevents damage to humans and the environment.
- Lee County is committed to cleaning up Hurricane Ian debris as quickly as possible.