Recovering for a disaster or damaging events can be tough, especially if there’s a lot of debris to take care of. Let’s take a look at the best ways to manage large amounts of debris following a natural disaster.
Recycle Everything You Can
Water bottles, electronics, plastics and many other things can be recycled. It’s always good to drop these off at a recycling center or arrange for pickup with a recycling agency when possible. This will help reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills, and may also increase the speed at which you can get rid of everything and finish your cleanup.
Never Burn Anything
If you have a lot of debris after a disaster, it may be tempting to burn some, especially wood materials. Avoid this! Not only can this affect air quality and create new fire hazards following a disaster, but it may also be distracting for responders who are dealing with other emergencies or looking for additional problems following a disaster. Instead, call local disposable agencies and ask about picking up these materials.
Sort Debris into Different Categories
If you have a big mess, one of the best things you can do is sort it out into different materials that have different disposal needs. A common method is to create different piles for:
- Vegetation: Branches, logs, plants and similar materials – please don’t mix in plastic bags with this pile, that sort of ruins the point!
- Appliances: Any damaged household appliances can go here.
- Electronics: Things with computer circuits can go here, like television, stereos, speakers, and so on.
- Household hazardous waste: This refers to more dangerous items, like chemicals in cleaning supplies or fertilizers, pesticides, any type of oils or paints, and other things that tend to come with warning signs.
Follow Your Normal Trash Pickup Rules, Separately
While you are picking up debris, expect your normal garbage service to continue. Keeping putting your regular waste in the trash and leave your trash bins out according to your schedule. Don’t put your common household trash out with the debris piles, and don’t put debris in your household trash bins. Keep both efforts separate.
Make Sure Debris Isn’t Blocking Drains or Other Things
When putting your debris out for collection, make sure it isn’t blocking drains, canals, grates or other objects (and obviously not roads). Everyone needs those to keep working, especially during a disaster.
Act Quickly with More Dangerous Types of Debris
Try to make plans for the most problematic debris first. We already mentioned oils and paints – these are particularly dangerous if left around, and should not be allowed to soak into the soil (which creates another series of legal requirements to follow). Likewise, materials that are soaked by floods or rain should be disposed of ASAP, before they can start growing mold and causing much bigger problems.
Not sure how to dispose of specific items? Don’t make mistakes! Just give Debris Box a call: We can help you find the best ways to dispose of all kinds of materials, including debris from a disaster.