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Collection Begins After Hurricane Charley

Fla. -- While some communities are still restoring power after Hurricane Charley hit the Florida coast on Friday, debris collection has been underway for days. Waste companies are signing contracts with many Florida cities for special storm-related yard waste. An estimated 150,000 cubic yards of debris was waiting to be gathered in Ormond Beach alone, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Orange City and DeBary have signed onto a Volusia County contract to speed collection for their residents.

Due to the extent of damage, many waste haulers are relaxing pickup rules. The cities of Deltona and Punta Gorda, for example, have told residents that tree limbs do not need to be bundled and there are no size limits to loads left at the curb. Other communities such as Collier County are sticking to their rule that debris should be bundled into units weighing less than 50 pounds to expedite pickup.

To focus on storm debris and food waste, recycling pickup has been postponed in many locations. However, companies such as Waste Management of Florida Inc. have said they are getting back on a regular schedule. Most important, officials are asking residents to separate yard waste from other kinds of trash, double-bag food waste, keep debris off roadways — and be patient.