The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially began with the powerful Dorian hitting the Atlantic coast hard this past week, causing 43 deaths and leaving 70,000 people homeless in the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane. Currently downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, Dorian affected Canada's Atlantic coast early Sunday, knocking out power to half a million customers despite losing some strength after leaving the U.S.
The path and impact of the storm was closely monitored by the waste and recycling industry over the past couple of weeks, as disasters like this can have a major impact on the operations of haulers that operate in the affected areas. To illustrate the effect on the industry, Waste360 has identified the following service alerts and debris removal guidelines issued by haulers in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
Advanced Disposal Services
Ponte Vedra, Fla.-based Advanced Disposal Services kept its customer base updated on the storm through social media posts on Facebook and issuing an advisory on its website.
Advanced Disposal is providing updates on impacted waste collection by location on its homepage. The advisory, issued prior to the storm hitting the U.S., offered the following tips to prepare solid waste for the storm’s impact and how to handle it post-storm.
- Be sure to secure solid waste materials by placing them in a location away from high winds. This includes garbage or recycling containers, as well as uncollected garbage, recycling, yard waste or bulk waste.
- Service may be suspended before and/or after a storm. For the safety of the company's team members and the communities it serves, collection will not resume until it is designated as safe by the proper authorities.
If you are in an area directly impacted by the storm:
- Defer to information provided by your municipality regarding solid waste collection and post-storm collection efforts.
- As you prepare items for post-storm collection efforts, it’s essential to keep your normal household waste separated from storm debris. If possible, storm debris should be placed in a pile curbside for collection teams to easily access.
- Advanced Disposal will resume collection of your normal services once local authorities advise that roads are passable and safe for the company's trucks.
Waste Management (WM) service and collection was impacted in Virginia. The Houston-based hauler issued a service alert outlining adjustments to its services, which were canceled on September 6 due to closures at Hampton Roads Hauling in Chesapeake, Va., and the Bethel Landfill in Hampton, Va. Service resumed on September 7.
The alert also offered tips for managing waste before and after the storm.
Before the storm:
- Secure all garbage and recycling containers. Place containers in a secure location away from open spaces.
- Stop all yard maintenance and tree trimming activities.
- Bundle and tie down all loose trash such as tree limbs, wood planks or building and roof tiles. Place these materials in a location where debris cannot become hazardous to homes and vehicles in high winds.
- Waste Management will continue to collect household garbage and recycling materials in the neighborhoods it serves according to regular schedules until the company feels it is unsafe for its drivers to be on the road or local authorities instruct Waste Management to suspend service.
After the storm:
- If Hurricane Dorian does directly impact your area, you must separate normal household garbage such as food, diapers and regular household waste from storm debris caused by high winds and rain. Storm debris, including tree limbs, carpet, aluminum and wood fencing and household appliances, should be placed curbside in a separate pile.
- Separating normal household waste from storm debris will allow Waste Management employees to collect your household garbage more quickly and safely. The separation is also necessary because other firms independent from Waste Management may be authorized to collect your storm debris in accordance with arrangements made by local municipalities and/or the county.
- Waste Management will restart curbside garbage collection of normal household waste as soon as local authorities deem it safe for the company’s trucks to be on the road. Initial focus will be on streets that are passable. The company will expand its routes to additional areas as more streets become clear of debris and other impediments.
Republic Services, based in Phoenix, posted service disruption notices on its Facebook page and released a hurricane service alert on September 6 with updated hours of operation for its facilities and service routes for Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
For most areas, all routes were running as scheduled and normal operations resumed on September 7. For areas in Daytona Beach, Fla., all routes are running as scheduled with the expectation to complete normal operations by September 14. In Oviedo and St. Augustine/St. Johns County in Florida, recycling and yard waste services resume on September 9.
Regular updates have been made to the inclement weather alert that was issued on September 6 by Waste Industries to advise of service interruptions for customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The Raleigh, N.C.- based company also posted service updates to its Facebook page and Twitter account.
For many areas, normal routes resumed on September 7 or 9, with extra waste collections scheduled for September 12 and 13 to make up for the recent service interruption.
Waste Pro USA
While many Waste Pro USA locations were closed on September 3 and 4, normal operations and service schedules resumed on September 5 and 6. The Longwood, Fla.-based company issued regular inclement weather updates on its website. It also kept customers informed of service interruptions through its Twitter account.