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Queens Chronicle

Special Sandy debris pickup extended again

Sanitation collection in disaster zones will now end Feb. 18

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:42 am, Thu Jan 24, 2013.

The Sanitation Department has extended the special debris pickup in areas hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy by another month.

Sanitation will continue to handle special storm debris collections in neighborhoods hit hard by the storm until Monday, Feb. 18. Originally, the pickup was scheduled to end Dec. 31 and then was extended until Jan. 14. But the department extended the collections again, responding to urging from City Council members representing hard-hit areas, including Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), who pushed the department to extend the deadline because of the need in Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

“The men and women of the department have been working around the clock since Sandy hit in order to clear roads of sand and debris and remove massive amounts of flooded furniture, clothing and personal items left behind in its wake,” said Commissioner John Doherty. “We now are in the midst of the winter snow season and our full resources must be ready to tackle snowstorms of any size and frequency. As such, we must cease special collections effective Monday, Feb. 18, 2013.”

Since Sandy, Sanitation crews have been providing extra pickups of bulky storm debris in Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways, as well as hard-hit parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island. According to the department, crews have collected more than 389,000 tons of debris as part of the cleanup operations.

Even 10 weeks after Sandy, rubble and debris from gutted homes in the Rockaways still line many of the streets as residents continue demolition and rebuilding.

The Sanitation Department has been removing noncommercial waste from homeowners engaged in small projects. However, homeowners who are undertaking large demolition and reconstruction projects must arrange for their own Dumpsters by contacting a private rubbish removal service.

Bulk and construction debris generated by hired contractors or fee-for-service personnel on home repair or renovation projects is considered commercial waste, and it is the responsibility of the contractor to arrange for appropriate private disposal.

Residents should place hurricane debris on the curb in front of their homes. The special pickups occur on the day before normal garbage collection days.

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