Sedgwick County offers drop-off site for storm debris

07/09/2013 10:11 AM

08/06/2014 2:21 AM

A storm debris dropoff site that Sedgwick County opened Wednesday already had taken about 100 loads by 5 p.m.

Residents who can transport their own tree branches can take them to the county collection site on the east side of 63rd Street South and Meridian at the Big Ditch. It will be open 24 hours a day through July, public works director David Spears said.

Meanwhile, confusion about what exactly city crews in Wichita are picking up continues to plague homeowners and business owners nearly a week after the windstorm responsible for the damage tore through parts of south-central Kansas.

Joe Pajor, Wichita’s deputy director of public works and utilities, reiterated Wednesday that the city is asking people to take responsibility for disposing of tree limbs and other storm debris collected on private property.

The city plans to pick up debris fallen from trees located on city easements and public right-of-ways, which is the area between a sidewalk and the street, he said.

Residents are asked to keep public waste separate from private waste. Disposal of private waste remains the responsbility of citizens, Pajor said.

“We continue to ask people to take responsbility for the private side,” he said. “Part of that includes them either self-hauling that waste” or coordinating pick-up with a private contractor.

Pajor added: “It appears we’re getting good cooperation from people.”

Residents of Wichita, other cities and unincorporated areas in the county can take tree branches and brush to the county site. Businesses that pick up storm debris also will be able to take it there.

The site is where the county accepted storm debris from the 1999 Haysville tornado. The county later will burn the debris.

Commissioner Tim Norton urged residents to dump only storm debris such as tree branches and not take construction-related materials or items such as refrigerators and tires. He noted the site, which will be free, is a privilege.

A news release from the county said that residents can take other storm-related debris, such as fencing, siding and roof materials, to one of two transfer stations for a fee. Those are Waste Connections on the northwest corner of 37th Street North and West Street and Waste Disposal, LLC on the northeast corner of 55th Street South and Hoover.

The city of Wichita has launched a map of areas already cleaned by crews. The map, to be updated each weekday, is available at www.wichita.gov.

Pajor said neither state nor Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance is expected during the cleanup, which is estimated to last about three weeks.

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