$1 million dedicated to flood recovery efforts to ensure curbside collection of bulk items

Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn
Workers remove flood-damaged materials from curbside on Sherwood Court.

Special free pickups will continue until all materials are removed; crews working 10-, 12-hour days; more equipment dedicated

DEARBORN – Given the amount of flood-damaged materials that must be collected from the curb in Dearborn, the City Council Aug. 20 approved an allocation of $1 million so that contractors, heavy equipment and city personnel can continue helping residents recover from the aftermath of the record-breaking Aug. 11 storm.

More than 20 extra crews from the city and the trash contractor are working 10- and 12-hour days to pick up unprecedented amounts of water- and sewage-soaked materials at the curbside from as many as 10,000 Dearborn houses.

Additional equipment and personnel have been deployed, including from out of state, and from multiple city divisions.

One more concentrated blitz of trash collection is scheduled for Saturday, to supplement the extra crews working every day.

In the hardest hit areas of Dearborn, which are the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday trash districts, nearly every home needed a bulk pickup, in addition to regular trash service.

Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said the collection effort will continue until all flood damaged materials are removed from curbs. More than 850 tons, or 1.7 million pounds, had been collected by Aug. 20.

The collection will continue through the end of August and possibly beyond.

It won’t all occur on regular trash days. Crews are moving through the city as quickly and safely as possible but are not able to get all bulk material from one area in a single trash day.

City officials hope there will be one bulk pickup of curbside items in every section of the city by Aug. 30, with return rounds continuing until all flood damaged materials are collected.

“We want to help our residents as quickly as possible and every day our crews are picking up staggering amounts of heavy materials left at the curbside, including four-foot piles of garbage bags, furniture, cabinets, paneling, floor tile, mattresses, appliances, and soaked carpeting,” O’Reilly said.

“We appreciate residents’ understanding, and know they can see for themselves the sheer volume across the city.”

As part of the effort, the state on Aug. 19 lifted a ban on mixing yard waste and trash during flood recovery efforts in Wayne County and the surrounding area.

That means four more bulk trucks that would normally be picking up yard waste will be reassigned to collect bulk materials at the curb, along with yard waste. This is in effect through Sept. 19.

It also means that regular yard waste collection may be delayed during flood recovery efforts as the focus remains on flood damaged materials

“The public health and safety issues related to the flood take precedent over yard waste materials,” O’Reilly said.

Residents are not to call the city if your yard waste is not picked up on your regular collection day. It will be picked up within one or two days of your regular trash day.

Residents should know:
• Four regular bulk trucks from Republic Services, plus one extra truck, began pickup immediately after the Aug. 11 storm.

• The city contracted five additional trucks from other cities served by Republic.

• Nineteen additional bulk trucks from Republic have been out since Aug. 20.

• DPW crews have used heavy machinery to pick up items every day, 10 to 12 hours per day, including over the weekend.

• Republic brought in 28 trucks on Aug.16 and was able to complete one-third of the Tuesday trash district.

• There are an average of 50 miles of residential roads and approximately 6,500 trash pickup stops per district.

• Hazardous waste materials are not allowed at the curb. This includes paint cans, pesticides, many household cleaning supplies, and electronics.

To assist with a quicker cleanup, the DPW Yard, 2915 Greenfield, will be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays so that residents can drop off their own bulk items for free. Residents must be able to lift and carry the items themselves. No hazardous waste is accepted at the yard.

Parked vehicles are to be kept off the streets so heavy machinery can have access to the bulk materials at the curb for removal. This is needed even if it is not a Public Service Day, when removing parked vehicles is mandatory.