Contracted cleanup crews may have rolled out of Nashville neighborhoods, but that doesn’t mean the dirty work is done.
“It’s not the last official day of collection,” said Gwen Hopkins-Glascock, spokeswoman for Metro Public Works, on Tuesday. “Our trucks will continue to be picking up flood debris for probably another couple weeks. But we are going to stop using the contracted trucks [for neighborhood collection] today.”
The small army of workers had been hauling and sorting flood debris in Nashville since May 10.
Using trucks and cranes, the crews hauled the debris off the street and dropped it at one of three temporary staging sites (Edwin Warner Park, Pulley Road near the airport, and Mainstream Drive at MetroCenter).
As of last Friday, Metro Public Works and contracted crews had removed more than 260,000 cubic yards of flood debris — over 60,000 tons.
The decision to cut off contract crews is a reflection of the amount of debris removed so far and a response to federal deadlines.
“We know that [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] will be issuing some deadlines of their own pretty soon, when they will stop reimbursing the city after a set date for debris collection,” Hopkins-Glascock said. “In anticipation of those FEMA deadlines, we set our own deadline for [Tuesday] for residents to put their items out.”
Finalized statistics regarding the debris cleanup will not be available until further down the road. With some cleanup ongoing, total cost and the amount of debris are still increasing.
“We probably won’t know that for another few weeks,” Hopkins-Glascock said. “Part of the cost involves those staging areas where the debris is sorted and transported to appropriate landfills. We’ve started doing that, but we won’t have any of those final numbers until we’ve finished.”