CAPE CORAL, Fla. — As 160 debris trucks work to pick up and drop off what Hurricane Ian left behind, Terry Schweitzer, Cape Coral's Solid Waste Manager said they expect all debris to be picked up by the end of December.
“The key word is patience,” said Schweitzer.
A keyword easily said but understandably harder to practice.
“It's unfortunate because their life is at the curb and we want to get that out as soon as possible,” said Schweitzer.
A possibility Schweitzer says should be a reality for everyone in Cape Coral by the start of the new year, meaning all of the debris drop-off sites will also be cleared out.
“Its not like regular garbage collection where Monday this area is picked up, Tuesday this area is picked up. We have a plan and it’s broken down into the 12 emergency management zones in the city.
That plan can be seen on the city of cape corals website by clicking here.
The city’s interactive debris removal map shows areas in orange which is where trucks have picked up debris, while sections in blue if clicked on will tell you the scheduled date for when they will arrive.
On Tuesday, Carl Goepper who lives across the street from one of the city’s drop-off sites told me his problem is not with the pickup, but where it's being dropped off.
“It's very dirty, it's noisy when it's dry when the big trucks come down the street, there is a lot of dust. and they more or less tell me there ain't nothing we can do about it,” said Goepper.
Walking along Carl’s street, he pointed out how the road is covered in mud and told me the smell from the drop site can be unbearable.
“When the wind blows this way, it smells terrible..it smells like a dump,” said Goepper.
It's a smell, Schweitzer said the city works to control.
Schweitzer said debris in sites is broken down and then hauled by a semi-truck to a landfill.
It's a job that requires a lot of moving parts, but the city feels confident they can compete with the crews they have.
“We are good with the crews we have right now, yes sir,” said Schweitzer.
One thing to remember for anyone stacking up debris is to avoid covering up things like any type of utility box or fire hydrant.
Schweitzer said pick-up crews can't assume what is laying underneath and they could be damaged.