'This is unprecedented': Florida crews working hard to pickup debris after back-to-back hurricanes

If you have bags of yard debris waiting to be picked up outside your home – you’re not alone. Some residents who live in Maitland on Druid Drive said they’ve been waiting a while for crews to clear it up.

"Of course I'd like to get it picked up because people don’t like to leave it on the side of the road, or if they leave it in their yard, it’s killing their grass," Bill Behr said. He is just one of the many Seminole County residents wondering when crews will pick up the bags of yard debris outside his home. 

"They’ve been there since Hurricane Ian hit, almost two months ago," Behr told FOX 35 News. "We have a narrow road and everyone keeps putting it into the road instead of the side of the road," he added.

County crews assure FOX 35 that its contractors are working on it.

Hector Valle manages the solid waste division in Seminole County. He said back-to-back hurricanes with Ian and then Nicole, have crews backed up for weeks. 

"We’ve been operating between 70 and 80 trucks, picking up debris from 200,000 homes in Seminole County," Valle said. 
"Have you ever seen anything like this," FOX 35's Christy Kern asked Valle.

"Never. This is unprecedented," Valle replied. "The quantity and the volume of the vegetative waste especially, we’ve never seen this."

According to Valle, the county contracts with Haulers, Waste Management and Waste Pro. Those companies are reportedly backed up, and crews are spread out in other areas of the state, like hard-hit Lee and Volusia counties. Regular yard debris is the last on their priority list.

"The larger debris piles block the roads. They impede traffic. They represent hazards to pedestrians and kids," Valle said. 

He estimates about 70% of debris has been picked up in Seminole County. As for the rest, he hopes it will be taken care of in the next four to six weeks. 

It's not ideal for some residents, but Behr said he’ll be patient. "There’s a lot more people suffering."