Storm Debris Preparation and Collection

Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th. It is never too early to prepare your property for the possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane. In order to reduce the amount of debris generated by a storm and to make the cleanup after a storm as efficient as possible it is important to follow these guidelines:

Pre-Hurricane Season Yard Maintenance

Cut back all trees and weak branches that make contact with your home.

Thin your foliage so wind can flow freely through branches, decreasing the chance that trees/plants will be uprooted.

Place your tree trimmings and yard waste at curb side on your regular scheduled collection day. Remember each piece should not exceed 4 feet in length or 50 lbs. in weight.

Leaves, grass clippings, pine needles or shrubbery cuttings must be containerized in no larger than 40 gallon or less than 5 gallon galvanized metal or durable plastic garbage cans. Do not bag your debris -The use of any type of bags (paper or plastic) for yard waste is prohibited.

Clean your yard of any items that could become missiles in a storm such as broken lawn furniture, etc. and call Waste Management at 636-6894 (north) or 723-4455 (south) for pickup of bulky waste.

Once the Storm Is Expected to Make Landfall Within 72 Hours

DO NOT cut down trees or vegetation or do any major yard work. Mass cutting places a tremendous burden on the normal solid waste collection process, and collection of this debris a few days prior to landfall of the storm is not guaranteed.

During a Watch or Warning period do not place materials at the curb or take materials to the landfill or transfer facility. Services may be suspended and facilities may close early to prepare for the storm.

For information on the status of our facilities and collection services, residents should consult the website or monitor local radio and/or television stations for service updates.

After the Storm Has Passed

Waste Management will continue to collect household waste, recyclables and containerized yard waste on their regular pre-storm collection schedule.

Storm debris collection is expected to start a few days after the storm has passed and depending upon the severity of the storm and anticipated debris it may be accomplished by either Waste Management, Inc. or a separate Disaster Debris Recovery Contractor.

Please be patient! Following a storm, the Solid Waste Management Department’s #1 priority is the collection of vegetation or storm debris, which can wait for pick up.

Storm Debris Collection

Please monitor the County’s website for updates on storm debris collection efforts. Updates will be made daily and every attempt will be made to identify active collection zones/areas.

Solid Waste Debris Pickup Interactive Map

If a storm leaves debris on your property, please follow these steps to prepare storm-related debris for collection:

  • Debris must be set out on the public right-of-way to be collected, but do not place storm debris in roadway.
  • Separate your debris. This is extremely important for efficient collection!
    • Keep all household garbage and recycling in the carts provided by Waste Management;
    • Containerize loose vegetative debris (leaves, grass clippings, pine needles or shrubbery cuttings)
    • Cut up trees and limbs into 4’ lengths
    • Neatly stack construction and demolition debris (drywall, roof shingles, side, carpet, fencing and docks).
    • Call Waste Management for collection of white goods (appliances: refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, etc.)
    • Never place any debris beside utility poles or transformers, under power lines, on top of water meters, on storm drains, by fire hydrants, near vehicles, next to mailboxes or fences. Hidden electrical hazards can injure or kill collection personnel.

Collection of storm debris will occur from sun-up to sun-down 7 days a week.

The initial pass through the County will collect vegetative debris only.

Depending on the severity of the storm there may be a pass for the collect construction and demolition debris and a second pass for vegetative debris.

Contractors hired by a homeowner for tree trimming, fence repair/replacement, or construction are responsible for hauling away all yard waste, fencing and construction materials.

The County may establish temporary debris collection sites throughout the County for use by the Contractor only. However, the County's Central Disposal Facility in Cocoa, the Sarno Road Landfill in Melbourne, and Mockingbird Way Mulching Facility in Titusville will be open from 7:30 to 5:30 Monday through Saturday if residents choose to deliver their storm debris with no charge to a permitted disposal facility.

Please be aware that all debris generated from named storm events, or from construction, re-modeling or demolition activity are NOT INCLUDED as part of the normal solid waste collection services provided by your waste hauler, Waste Management, Inc.

After a declared emergency, the County will apply for reimbursement from FEMA and the State for storm debris collection, however, only a portion of the cost of debris clean-up is reimbursed and specific time restraints and requirements are placed on the County regarding debris collection activities in order to qualify for any reimbursement. Preparing for a storm and following the debris set out requirements above will enable the County to maximize the federal and state reimbursement and thereby reduce the cost of clean up to the County’s residents.