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Debris Piles Up - Waiting For Collection
How it's happening in town and in the county
September 26, 2018

urricane Florence and her storm surge damaged many homes and uprooted trees. Since then, flooded homes have been gutted, swollen floorboards torn up, soggy sheetrock torn out and fallen trees cut into more portable pieces. That debris now sits at curbsides around town waiting for pickup.

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Stacked insulation squares and sinuous ductwork insulation line curbs in town.

After a natural disaster, trash pickup is not as simple as throwing it into a box that’s hauled away once a week, as with egular household garbage. Storm debris pickup is more complicated; it’s coordinated at the county, state, and federal levels. Storm debris pickup in Oriental is managed by Pamlico County.

There are several categories of debris, each to be picked up separately. Household garbage is the trash you would normally throw out on a weekly basis. Vegetative (also called green) waste is anything that was once a living plant – trees, limbs, seagrass. Oriental is currently collecting this. Construction and demolition debris is what you used to build a structure or furnish it. Appliances are a category all their own: anything you plug in.

Construction Debris Post Florence
Daniel Early and Josh Gibson clear broken asphalt from South Ave.
Construction Debris Post Florence
On High St. the insulation has been bagged for removal.

If debris types are mixed, they will not be picked up. For example, if household trash is thrown in with construction debris, the trash companies have stated they will leave it be. They are under contract to haul only specific types of debris (FEMA rules and regs) and will not sort trash curbside.

Pamlico County Manager Tim Buck says the county will begin picking up construction debris. This includes Oriental. He expects it to start in about two weeks.

Construction Debris Post Florence
Vegetative and construction debris lines Gilgo Rd where several duplexes sustained damaged.

For the first time, NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is getting involved. They, too, will pick up construction debris on state roads like Highway 55 and NC 306. While County Manager Buck is pleased that NCDOT is aiding the effort, he doesn’t yet know when their efforts will begin.

Once underway, Buck says collection will likely take weeks, if not months.

Construction Debris Post Florence
A home on Hodges St had all the insulation removed and piled against the fence.

The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival is in Oriental on October 5-7. It is concentrated in one of the hardest hit sections of Oriental. But organizers have hit on a solution. Working with Town Manager Miller, the town is ordering dumpsters to be brought in Monday. The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival is looking for volunteers to clear that section of town. One day after they arrive, the dumpsters will be taken away.

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Other piles of debris from around town. Clockwise from top: Wall St, Vandemere St., and South Ave.

For those residents who do not wish to wait on town, county, or state pickup, they can take their debris to the transfer station on 306 themselves. There is a fee involved in this venture. If the hands-on approach is not feasible, there are debris removal services for hire.

Construction Debris Post Florence
Household trash is being collected, but vegetative and construction debris will have to wait.

Once the state finalizes the paperwork for the final destination of the green waste, the town can be reimbursed for monies spent on the cleanup process.

And that’s important. The Town has sustained a large amount of damage in the uplifting of asphalt of South Ave. It’s not just the asphalt that took a hit. Town Manager Miller said engineers have already been out to inspect South Ave and the seawall and foundation are damaged. Until they are repaired, the road cannot hold the large equipment necessary for further repairs. Any reimbursement the Town can get for debris pickup is crucial given the monies that will have to go to street repair.

Oriental Pickup
  • Household garbage pickup occurring as regularly scheduled. Next pickup Mon Oct 1, green containers only.
  • Pickup for vegetative debris is already happening, just slowly. Town is limited by how often they can get containers of green waste hauled away. Town Manager Diane Miller tells TownDock.net that thus far, vendors are not unloading containers as fast as they agreed to. FEMA regs limit what companies Town hall can hire to do this.
  • Two blue waste dumpsters at the Water Tower on Gilgo for green (vegetative) waste only.
  • Will have construction/demolition pickup, coordinated through the county. See below.
Pamlico County Pickup
  • In charge of picking up construction/demolition debris, and appliances. County Manager Tim Buck expects pickup to begin in two weeks.
NC DOT Pickup
  • For the first time, the Governor has directed NC DOT to assist in cleanup efforts. They will pick up construction/demolition debris on state highways like 55 and 306. When this will begin is yet unknown.

Posted Wednesday September 26, 2018 by Allison DeWeese

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