Separating Garbage from Storm Debris at the Curb
As individuals and families return to the areas affected by Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey to begin the cleanup process, it is important that storm debris remain separate from residential garbage and recycling. FEMA, operating in conjunction with the county, municipalities and contractors will collect storm debris, and Waste Management will collect household garbage and recycling. Separating household waste from storm debris will allow Waste Management employees to collect your household garbage more quickly and safely, helping to prevent spoilage and avoid safety hazards. Below are guidelines to help you separate your household waste from storm debris.
STANDARD TRASH AND RECYCLING COLLECTION INFORMATION
Waste Management has resumed collection in most areas and will continue to collect regular household garbage and recycling that is not contaminated with storm debris. Do not include storm debris, including yard waste, with your regular trash. For the most up to date Service Alerts, visit www.wm.com/alerts
STORM DEBRIS COLLECTION INFORMATION
Storm debris collection is managed by your city, county or area and will be performed by contractors other than Waste Management, per FEMA. Debris pick-up schedules and requirements will vary by city and unincorporated area. Check city or MUD/HUD news bulletins.
Storm debris includes any of the following, generated as a result of the storm:
Construction and Demolition Debris – building materials, carpet, drywall, furniture, lumber,
mattresses, and plumbing
Hazardous Household Waste – cleaning supplies, batteries, lawn chemicals, oils, oil-based
products and stains, and pesticides (www.epa.gov/hw/household-hazardous-waste-hhw)
Electronics – computers, radios, stereos, televisions, and other devices with a cord
Appliances and White Goods - refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, stoves,
washers, dryers, and water heaters
Vegetation – leaves (do not put in bags), logs, plants, tree branches
Keep storm debris separate from your regular household garbage and recycling. Be sure the debris and waste containers are not blocking mailboxes, power lines, storm drains or fire hydrants.
- Keep roadways and sidewalks as clear as possible.
- Avoid parking your car near debris piles and waste containers.
- Keep children and pets away from debris piles and waste containers, and watch them carefully when heavy equipment is in the area.
- Drive carefully when behind debris-loaded trucks. Materials can fly out causing an accident or a driving hazard. Leave a safe distance between your vehicle and the truck.
For additional storm debris information, please visit https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey. We value you as our Waste Management customer and appreciate your cooperation in following these guidelines as we return to normal service operations over the coming weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will my household trash and/or recycling services resume?
A: We are working hard to ensure everything is picked up in a timely manner. Based on the severity of the storm, this will take more time than usual. Please leave your household trash and recycling at the curb and we will pick it up just as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience. Based on the magnitude of the storm, collection schedules for regular household trash and recycling are subject to change. For the most up-to-date service information, please visit our alert center at www.wm.com/alerts.
Storm Debris Cleanup
Q: What will Waste Management be picking up?
A: Waste Management will only collect household trash and recycling, the materials you normally place in your trash and recycling carts for weekly collection. It is important that storm debris remain separate from residential trash and recycling so that Waste Management employees can collect your household materials more quickly and safely. Please do not include storm debris in your household trash. Storm debris includes construction and demolition debris, hazardous household waste, electronics, vegetation, appliances and white goods.
Q: Will Waste Management collect my storm debris?
A: No, Waste Management will not be collecting storm debris. We will ONLY be collecting materials normally placed in your trash and recycling carts for weekly collection. It is important that storm debris remain separate from residential trash so that Waste Management employees can collect your household materials more quickly and safely. Storm debris collection is managed by your city, county, or area and will be performed by other contractors. Debris pickup schedules will likely vary by city and unincorporated area. Check city or MUD/HUD news bulletins. You can also refer to the FEMA Hurricane Harvey resource page at https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey. The FEMA website includes detailed instructions for debris collection.
Q: What if I don’t want to wait for FEMA collection? Can I get a dumpster or Bagster® bag from you and just pay for it myself?
A: It is standard in disaster storm cleanups to have residents place their storm debris at the curb for the storm debris contractors to collect. So, unfortunately we are unable to provide large metal containers or the Bagster® bag for residential storm debris collection at this time.