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Some Tampa neighborhoods still littered with junk, debris after Hurricane Irma

Posted at 6:31 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 18:31:36-04

Some neighborhoods remain littered with old mattresses, couches and other junk placed outside after Hurricane Irma.

Many people thought FEMA debris cleanup crews would be able to pick up these items, but they are not eligible for pickup, according to the City of Tampa Solid Waste Department.

However, city workers are asking people to drop off junk to the McKay Road station before it becomes a health hazard. Mold, mildew, rats and other health issues are now a concern, city officials said.

"Rats, insects and just breed things we don't want in our community," said Mark Wilfalk, Director of the City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management.

If you have a neighbor who does not choose to dispose of their junk put out for removal, other residents can notify the city. Code enforcement workers will come out and encourage the homeowner to dispose of the junk, either by driving it to a city dump site or by hiring a private junk removal service, Wilfalk said.

If they fail to dispose of the waste after speaking with code enforcement, city workers say the City of Tampa will come out and dispose of it on their behalf, but will add any fees accrued during that to their utility account.

The City of Tampa said they are almost done with collecting vegetative storm debris, as well as plywood and shingles. 

In the meantime, families who for some reason have not had their storm debris cleaned up need to contact the City of Tampa's Utility Service line, Wilfalk said.

ABC Action News alerted Stormwater Services to a large pile at the corner of Bernie and Wallace in South Tampa that had not been picked up.

Wilfalk said he would send crews out Wednesday to immediately assess and take care of the situation.