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Hurricane Irma left more than thousands without power in Thomasville; she also left fallen trees, broken limbs and other debris. With the weekend ahead, many residents may be getting out to clear their yard of storm debris. To help with this, City of Thomasville Solid Waste crews will be temporarily working extended hours.

“Unfortunately, a storm like Irma results in quite a bit of yard trimmings and vegetative debris,” said Nate Tyler, Director of Solid Waste. “Our crews will be working extended hours so that we can perform additional pickups for yard trimmings while maintaining our regular refuse collection cycle.”

According to Tyler, Solid Waste staff will be working 12 hour shifts each weekday as well as Saturday and Sunday hours. This extended schedule will be in effect through September 24th.

Yard trash collections do not have regularly scheduled pick-up days and are instead addressed when time is available in the work schedule. “We normally try to pick up so that all zones receive at least two collections per month,” said Tyler. “However with the amount of debris caused by our recent storm, we want to make sure we make more frequent collections over the next few weeks.”

Residents should place yard trimmings on the City’s right-of-way for pickup. Care should be taken to avoid placing debris on roads, near drains or on sidewalks. Public Works Director Mike Atkinson said that being mindful of where debris is placed is important for a variety of reasons.

“Public Works crews will be performing additional street sweeping, and large piles of yard trimmings can make this task difficult,” he said. “In addition, blocking drains and ditches can cause drainage issues later when we have storms that bring a great deal of rain. Keeping sidewalks clear is necessary so that pedestrians do not encounter anything that could cause a tripping hazard.”

Tyler said that while placement of yard trimmings is important, the size of limbs and branches is as well. Guidelines require limbs to be no longer than six feet and about three inches in diameter. Care should also be taken to not mix household trash in storm debris. “No construction trash or household items should be mixed with storm debris,” said Tyler. “In addition, debris should not contain large amounts of loose dirt or stumps.”

In addition to extended pick up hours, Thomas County has also opened a debris drop off location. The storm debris collection site will be open from 7 am – 7 pm, seven days a week until September 24th. The collection site is located at 1400 Woodruff Farm road next to the Landfill on Sunset Drive.

The drop off location is for vegetation that is a direct result of Hurricane Irma and not for scheduled tree removals. “This is only for debris that was knocked down from the storm,” said Tyler. “Customers with trimmings resulting from regular maintenance, such as cuttings or trimmings, should dispose of the debris elsewhere.”