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City says debris cleanup ongoing

City officials unveil a new hotline to answer question about the trash and say they hope cleanup will be completed by Oct. 10.

By DONG-PHUONG NGUYEN
Published September 17, 2004

TAMPA - The city of Tampa has accumulated so much debris from recent hurricanes and storms that, if stacked 10 feet high, it would fill 18 football fields, city officials said Thursday.

But cleanup is on its way, they promised.

Solid Waste Director David McCary told Tampa City Council members he hopes to have all trash, including the heavier objects, picked up by Oct. 10.

He asked for the public's assistance and unveiled a debris hotline number to answer any questions.

"We do have a challenge in front of us," McCary said. "This isn't something that magically disappears."

McCary said more than 250 contract and city employees are trying to clear away more than 300,000 cubic yards of debris.

He asked that residents place their trash curbside in three separate piles: one mound of light trash containing objects that fit inside regular household garbage bags and trash cans; a cluster of brush; and a heap of carpet and construction material.

The city's goal is to have all the light trash picked up by Sept. 24.

In addition, the city has two stations where residents can drop off their debris. Both are open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are:

McKay Bay Transfer Station, 112 S 34th St.

Manhattan Brush Site (accepting brush only) at 7215 S Manhattan Ave.

Nicole Camacho, a customer service representative working the debris hotline, said many callers want exact times their trash will be picked up.

"We're just saying a few weeks," Camacho said. "Unfortunately, we can't give dates and times."

McCary said it is the responsibility of the homeowner to have fallen trees cut up and placed curbside.

He said he hoped that through the hotline number, people with chain saws who want to help will be matched up with those in need.

"We will make our city aesthetically pleasing again," he said.

The telephone number for questions about debris is (813) 232-6862.

[Last modified September 17, 2004, 02:20:34]


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