Forty-five debris-removal teams in Lakeland have picked up 548 loads of Hurricane debris in the last seven days and are expected to take four weeks to complete the first of three “passes,” the city of Lakeland said today.

After the first pass, the haulers under contract with FEMA will make two more sweeps of city streets to pick up further debris.

Here is the text of a news release issued today by the city of Lakeland Communications Department:

There is a coordinated effort underway to remove storm related debris left behind by Hurricane Irma.  There are 45 debris removal crews made up of FEMA contractors and City crews that are assigned to a particular zone in the City.  In the past seven days, these crews have removed 548 loads for a total of 13,043 cubic yards. The have also removed 1,840 hanging limbs.  They will continue to operate until all debris is removed. Working seven days per week from 7 AM – 7 PM.


A first pass of all zones is expected to be fully completed over the next four weeks. A second and third collection will give residents additional time to place debris in their nearest right-of-way for removal. Residents are asked to be patient as the crews make their way throughout the City to clear the debris.

Debris Placement

As a reminder, residents are asked to not place debris in trash bags. Debris should be sorted by item type and placed in separate piles at the City right-of-way; not in the street.

If residents live on private roads or in private communities and are unable to bring the debris to the closest public right-of-way, they are asked to contact the City’s IRMA hotline at 863.834.IRMA (863.834.4762).

Curbside Collection

These are the specific items that can be moved to the curbside for collection:

Construction & Demolition Debris
  • Building material including roof shingles and siding
  • Drywall
  • Lumber
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Plumbing
Vegetation Debris
  • Fallen tree branches and logs


Residents are asked to take the following steps to make the debris removal process easier:

  • Sort debris by type and place in separate piles
  • Do not place debris in bags
  • Do not stack debris against trees, poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants and storm drains
  • Do not place debris on sidewalks or farther back than 10-feet beyond the curb

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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