Waste Industry Braces for Hurricane Cleanup

Silver Spring, Md. -- Municipalities hit by Hurricane Isabel are pooling back-up and emergency staff and funds to clear the debris left in the storm’s path. John Skinner, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), is alerting the public to the challenges waste professionals will be facing as cleanup begins, noting that waste from Hurricane Hugo took almost two years to process because yard waste, which comprised the majority of the debris, generally is not allowed in municipal solid waste landfills.

Isabel’s winds reached 105 miles per hour when it hit coastal North Carolina and Virginia at 1 p.m. Thursday. The winds uprooted trees and cut power to more than 3.5 million people. News sources are reporting the hurricane caused 14 deaths. SWANA officials are warning of the dangers of waste collection under these circumstances.