After the storm, what goes where?

Storm debris on the Eastpoint waterfront. Photo available for purchase

Storm debris on the Eastpoint waterfront.

Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM.

Twelve weeks into hurricane season and, so far, it’s been relatively quiet. Which is why now is the right time to think about what actions you may need to take in the aftermath of a hurricane.

The destruction during a hurricane or severe storm creates issues that many of us never think about, until after the fact. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew generated 43 million cubic yards of disaster-related debris over a 500-square-mile area in Miami-Dade County . At the time, it was the greatest recorded amount of disaster-related debris in the United States .

In 2005, the amount of storm-generated debris more than doubled to 100 million cubic yards in the New Orleans metropolitan area following Hurricane Katrina.

What is considered storm-generated debris and where does it go? Materials damaged and destroyed from winds and flooding are divided into four categories for disposal: construction and debris, housing materials such as lumber, concrete, shingles, bricks and glass; yard trash, trees, branches, shrubbery and other vegetation; white goods, appliances like refrigerators and freezers, washers and dryers, and e-waste such as computers and electronics; and municipal solid waste, household garbage.

There are three classifications of landfills where the waste is sent:

Class I landfills are those that receive an average of 20 tons or more of solid waste per day (SWPD).

Class II landfills receive an average of less than 20 tons of SWPD. Both Class I and II landfills receive general non-hazardous household, commercial, industrial and agricultural wastes, such as household garbage and rotting waste, uncontaminated yard trash and unsalvageable refrigerators and freezers (after chlorofluorocarbons and capacitors have been removed).

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