Louisiana state officials estimate that 22 million tons of waste from Hurricane Katrina remain uncollected, according to the New York Times. The waste, which will take an estimated 3.5 million truckloads to clear, is now being removed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. So far, according the article, the Corps has awarded $2 billion in waste removal contracts, and it expects that figure to increase.
According to a recent National Public Radio segment, the Corps says that 3.8 million cubic yards of hurricane debris have been collected to date, and 200,000 cubic yards arrive at Louisiana landfills and temporary dumping sites each day. Corps officials estimate that it will take nearly seven months to clear the waste, but Chuck Carr Brown, assistant secretary of the Louisiana Environmental Services Office, says the cleanup may take as long as two years to complete.