Before Hurricane Season

A woman trimming a tree

Prevent storm debris by preparing your property for hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). You can help reduce a storm’s impact by cutting back trees and vegetation from power lines or other areas that could damage your home and property. All major vegetation projects should be completed before the start of hurricane season.

Prepare your property:

  1. Cut back all trees and weak branches that make contact with your home.
  2. Thin your foliage so wind can flow freely through branches, decreasing the chance that trees/plants will be uprooted.
  3. Clear your yard of any items, such as broken lawn furniture, lumber and old toys, that could become missiles in a storm.
  4. If you are having trees removed or trimmed by a contractor, tree company or landscaper, be sure to have them remove the debris.
  5. Please do not trim vegetation just before a storm as it will not be collected until after the storm.

Guidelines:

Residential vegetative yard waste for all customers is collected on WEDNESDAY of each week.

  • Put trash and vegetation in separate piles.
  • Do not place yard waste in plastic bags. Use an old garbage can or other container.
  • All piles must be less than 5 inches in diameter, less than 6 feet in length, and weigh less than 50 lbs per piece or item.
  • Place yard waste materials within 6 feet of the curb.
    • Do not place on vacant lots, sidewalks, roadways or someone else’s property.
    • Do not place in storm swales, in front of culverts or in drainage areas.
    • Do not place under utility lines or low-hanging tree branches.

Bulk pick up:

For larger piles that exceed the size limitations for routine curbside collection and may require the grapple truck with claw, please contact Waste Management to schedule a bulk yard waste pickup at (772) 546-7700.

Residents and businesses can also take trash and yard waste to the Solid Waste Transfer & Recycling Facility in Palm City for disposal. There is a charge to use the facility | View Rates.

Do not take trash or vegetation to the transfer facility during a STORM WARNING. Services may be suspended and the facility closed early to prepare for the storm.

Once a storm is headed our way ...

  • Do not cut down trees or do major yard work.
  • Do not begin construction projects that produce debris.
  • Do not trim vegetation of any kind once a watch or warning has been issued. Mass cutting places a tremendous burden on the collection process.
  • Do not place household garbage, trash, vegetation or other items on the curb for pickup. Loose debris on the curb could pose a threat during and after a storm. All curbside waste services will cease (up to 48 hours before storm landfall) due to safety issues.
  • Please secure your recycling carts and garbage cans so they do not become flying debris.

After a Storm

Restoring Curbside Services

Regular Garbage, Recycling & Yard Waste: Following a storm, the top priority is the health and safety of our community and restoration of the county. Safety personnel from multiple agencies will have to assess damage to our area before curbside service can be restored.

When collection services resume, place garbage curbside away from storm-related debris on your regular service day. Storm debris will be collected separately from your normal household garbage & recycling. For curbside service status updates after a storm, please visit Waste Management.

  • Most important – keep your household garbage, recycling, yard waste, building debris and storm debris in separate piles (do not mix).
  • Securely containerize all household garbage in garbage cans or bags and place curbside on your regular collection day.
  • Large quantities of vegetative debris should be piled at the curb for mechanical collection. Do not place under trees or power lines.
  • There is no reimbursement provided to any individual resident or HOA who hires a private contractor to remove and dispose of storm-related debris.

Disaster Debris Removal

Storm-Related Debris: Martin County's Public Works Department is in charge of disaster debris removal in adherence to guidelines governed by FEMA. Debris collection guidance and recovery process updates will be provided as soon as they are available following a storm. To expedite the debris removal process, when placing disaster debris along the curb for collection please separate into the following six (6) categories:

  1. Electronics, such as televisions, computers or phones.
  2. Large appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves or dishwashers.  Be sure to seal or secure the doors so that they are not accessible.
  3. Hazardous waste, such as oil, batteries, pesticides, paint or cleaning supplies.
  4. Vegetative debris, such as tree branches, leaves or plants.
  5. Household garbage, such as discarded food, paper or boxes will be taken care of in the normal method and should not be combined with hurricane debris.
  6. Construction debris such as building materials, carpeting, furniture and mattresses.

Remember to place debris away from trees, poles or structures including fire hydrants and meters. Remove all water-damaged materials from your home and place curbside for pickup. Debris and trash bags should not block the roadway.

The graphic below provides information on the proper sorting and placement of various types of debris. Homeowners and businesses should closely follow these guidelines to assure that storm debris is removed efficiently and as quickly as possible after a storm.

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