Seminole County dumps are filling up with massive piles of storm debris as clean up continues

Piles and piles of storm debris are filling up local dumps. Trucks line up, waiting to dump their loads before making more rounds through Central Florida’s worst-hit neighborhoods.  

"That’s when you start to get an idea of the scope and the magnitude," said Seminole County Solid Waste Division Manager Hector Valle. 

The debris is ending up in four different dumps across Seminole County. They are creating piles that stand nearly 20 feet tall. If you combine them all, the debris would cover 20 football fields. 

"We are going seven days a week for 12 hours a day from sunrise to sunset, and we will continue to do so until the job is done," said Valle. 

Each of Seminole County’s 86 trucks is doing three to four trips a day. So far the county has collected 24% of the vegetative debris left behind by Ian. 

"I am elated," said Lake Mary resident Tommy Miller. "I’m glad to have it off the grass."


Although, not everything was taken from Tommy Miller’s yard. The black trash bags were left behind.  

All we want in those trucks is vegetative debris. We don’t want any of those other materials," said Valle. 

All the vegetative debris brought to the dumps becomes mulch. Any plastic or household trash in the debris would ruin the grinders. Almost all the clean mulch will be re-purposed. 

Once everything is ground up, the dumps will get filled with all the other trash the storm created. 

"We estimate that by the time it’s all said and done we’re looking at probably 40 to 50% of the overall tonnage will be construction and demolition debris," said Valle. 

Once all the vegetative debris is collected, the trucks will go back around to grab the household mess the storm created. 

In all, the cleanup effort could take up to two months.