Curbside junk slowing down Tampa Irma debris pickup

City says it is not picking up junk with debris
Posted at 4:01 PM, Oct 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 17:27:10-04

"There's mattresses, chairs, lots of wood, tons of branches," said Sean McDonald. 

Neighbors are complaining about junk sitting curbside in this Seminole Heights neighborhood.

"Now it's rainy, right so critters and it looks, it's unsightly. It's a blight," said homeowner Jill Case. "Course when it goes out, they're not going to collect it back up and bring it back in." 

We found a pile with tires, a mattress, rugs and chairs sitting right around the corner from Jill Case's house.

"My husband and I commented on it when we were going for a walk. It was like almost every other house, there's a mattress or TV," she said. 

Neighbors who perhaps thought debris would pickup storm debris and anything else they wanted to toss.

"I think there needed to be better communication," said Case.

The curbside junk is slowing the city down.

RELATED: Hurricane Irma debris collection maps allow Tampa Bay Area residents to track progress

"It's just going to sit there," said Tampa Public Works Director Brad Baird.

Baird says the city has made significant process in 31 days completing 92 percent of the job. Two weeks ago, the debris yard was only 1/3 full. 

New drone video today shows a yard packed with piles as long as several football fields, stacked end to end.

"At some point, if the debris is not storm related becomes a nuisance we will get code enforcement involved," said Baird. 

The city SWEEPS program which schedules pickups of junk in different neighborhoods twice a year is suspended until Irma debris is picked up.