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What's Happening to All the Tree-Debris?

Thursday, September 25, 2003

(Washington, DC) As the clean-up following Hurricane Isabel enters its second week, crews will be picking up the large sections of tree trunks, stumps, and limbs remaining on the side of roadways. The District will choose a vendor next week to assume this responsibility so that city employees can return to their primary operations, providing regularly scheduled services to the residents of the District of Columbia.

Residents and business owners are asked to be patient, as the collection and removal of all of this debris from city streets, sidewalks and alleys may take upwards of a month to complete.

To facilitate collection of hurricane-related trees and debris, residents are asked to bag small fragments, like yard waste, leaves and twigs. These bags may be set out at the regular point of trash collection. Spoiled food should be bagged and placed in trash containers with lids secured to deter rats. Carry or drag sizeable sticks and branches to the curb for collection. Pile them into the curbside tree boxes. Do not throw debris into parking or traffic lanes.

City officials are discussing a number of options for the disposal of an estimated 30,000 tons of tree debris. Chipped trees and branches will likely be used for certain city projects and may be offered to various institutions, parks and recreation areas and may also be made available to the public. Residents should feel free to take any curbside logs and branches for use as firewood.

Residents who do not want to wait for collection may take moveable brush, branches, debris and other trash to the city's Fort Totten Trash Transfer Station at 4900 Bates Road, NE, from 1 - 5 pm weekdays and from 8 am to 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

DPW scheduled services are slowly returning to normal, according to Public Works Director, Leslie Hotaling. "Parking enforcement, street sweeping, litter can service, as well as trash and recycling collection have resumed," she said. "Residents should put out trash and recyclables on the usual day at the usual point of collection. All services are on schedule pending access to streets and alleys. If power lines or trees still block a street or alley, trucks may not be able to get to those areas." Bulk trash collections are postponed for the remainder of the week. Customers will be contacted to reschedule appointments.