Debris Cleanup A Big Job In Shore Communities

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Point Pleasant Beach. November 12, 2012

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Debris from storm-damaged homes lines the streets in Point Pleasant Beach (photo by Phil Gregory)

As New Jersey starts to recover from Hurricane Sandy, one of the big tasks is getting rid of all the debris the storm left behind.

Just as in many other coastal communities, work crews in Point Pleasant Beach are collecting the piles of storm-damaged rugs, furniture, mattresses and other items residents removed from their homes.

Public Works Superintendent John Trout says there’s so much of it that private contractors have been called in to help pick it up.

 “It’s going to be thousands and thousands of cubic yards. It is all kinds of stuff and it would be hard to put a label on exactly what it is. One house had about a 70 foot section of brand new boardwalk in their front yard.”

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says more than 60 temporary debris management areas have been set up in the state. The collected material will be stored there until it can be moved to landfills or incinerators. He does not believe the debris is an environmental hazard.

“We’re looking at anything that comes out. People are pulling out propane tanks and things like that. We’re watching for that, and anybody that’s pulling that stuff and collecting that stuff is putting it in separate piles, and we’re treating it separately. So it’s being quarantined off and all the rest of that. You’re going to find cans of paint and things like that that need to be pulled aside.”


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