September 8, 2017

Things Are Looking Up as the Debris Comes Down

I never thought I’d be so excited to see a bunch of heavy trucks rolling through Bellaire.  What a beautiful sight, indeed!  Debris removal is a major milestone on the road to recovery and will have a huge impact in restoring a sense of normalcy to our streets and neighborhoods.  Getting rid of all the piles at the curb allows us to begin moving forward in rebuilding our community, and none too soon.

It’s a monumental task, and it has taken a lot of planning to get to this point, both before and after the storm.  As part of our ongoing disaster preparedness we maintain standing agreements with debris removal contractors, ready for us to call upon them should disaster strike.  We did so right away, even before Harvey was finally done with us, and they began making their arrangements.  The utter magnitude of the job demands a great deal of logistics and staging.  Over the past several days the contractors have been getting their equipment and personnel in place, obtaining regulatory approval from the State, and securing landfill access to dispose of all the debris.  Though it hasn’t always felt like it, the process has actually moved quite quickly.

The City has worked closely with the contractors to keep things on track, and on the timeline we’ve been targeting.  Debris removal started this morning and will continue seven days a week until the job is done.  They’re planning to make three successive passes through the City, hopefully about a week apart depending on how rapidly the work progresses.

You can help by keeping parked vehicles off the streets so the debris removal trucks can get through more easily.  Separate storm debris from your household trash for more efficient collection of both.  Unfortunately, curbside recycling remains suspended while our crews are working hard to catch up on their regular solid waste schedule.  Please note that household hazardous waste (things like paint, automotive fluids and pesticides) contain chemicals that require special handling, and the City is currently working on a plan for proper disposal of these items in the near future.  Putting the different types of waste out in separate piles helps us take it all away faster.

This is obviously a very challenging time throughout the City, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to get through it.