September 25, 2017

Debris Removal:  The Work is Picking Up

In many neighborhoods throughout the Houston area, officials don’t yet even have an idea of a start date for debris removal.  Obviously this isn’t a competition, but in Bellaire we’re fortunate to be well on our way.  It’s not going nearly as fast as we’d hoped, but the pace of our collection has only been increasing each day.  Through our active management of the process we’ve been able to bring in more crews and equipment and have secured additional staging site capacity.

Our debris removal operations are noticeably improving as increased staging site capacity has allowed the contractor to bring in more and larger equipment, like this tandem, self-contained loader.

As we’re all too well aware, we're dealing with a natural disaster of unprecedented magnitude.  We estimate that the approximately 2,300 debris piles all over Bellaire total some 125,000 cubic yards, of which we’ve picked up 21,625 to date.  Throughout the region the estimate is 200 million cubic yards.  We still have a long way to go, but we’re making progress.  The crews are hard at work, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week.

By now you may have seen the large debris pile at our temporary staging site on Anderson St. in the north part of town.  (Emphasis on the word “temporary.”)  It is permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and monitored in accordance with all TCEQ regulatory requirements.  Since establishing that first site, the City has successfully secured another outside of Bellaire, which has helped speed things up considerably and eased the burden on the Anderson site, where the pile is now being reduced and has been over the past several days.  These staging sites are a necessary and required part of the debris removal process.  Loads are brought in, compacted, and then transferred and hauled off to the landfill.

Many residents who have been patiently awaiting debris collection on their blocks have asked for a precise schedule so they’ll know what to expect.  Now that the work is progressing more steadily we’re close to being able to provide one, and will publish it as soon as it is available.  The City is regularly updating residents on debris removal and other disaster recovery activities and resources.  If you’re not already subscribed, please sign up for Notify Me on the City website.