St. Pete Beach rents moving trucks to pick up storm debris

Posted at 3:46 PM, Sep 26, 2017

Still have debris at your curb? You might be waiting awhile before crews pick it up. Some debris contractors are ditching Tampa Bay and headed to harder hit areas like South Florida where they’re able to get more lucrative contracts. 

Meanwhile, St Pete Beach is getting creative. While they still have debris contractors working to pick up curbside storm waste, they’ve also rented Penske moving trucks to get the job done. The city tapped into several city employees from across various departments and hired a half dozen new employees to man the moving trucks. 

This has not only helped them stay ahead of the contractor shortage, but they’re also able to pick up storm debris that has been bagged or dumped into trash cans, which the contractor is unable to scoop up. 

Resources are really strapped across Tampa Bay with so many debris collection contractors leaving our area to help in other places. City of Largo employees sent out an email to residents too telling them the pickup will take much longer than expected.

"Unfortunately, many in Pinellas County have found most of these teams either already assisting in Texas from Hurricane Harvey or in Southern Florida where far more damage occurred in places like Naples, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami. This degree of wide spread destruction over two states is unprecedented, and we can only ask for patience as we tackle the challenges we are facing,” an email to residents explained. 

Many other cities, including Tampa and Clearwater are experiencing problems with contractors leaving their cities to work in other harder hit areas. 

Meanwhile, across Tampa Bay, there are 2 million cubic yards of storm debris sitting alongside curbs. That’s enough to fill a line of dump trucks stretching 735 miles.