Debris Collection FAQs

  • 1. Is normal yard waste being collected?

    Yes.  Properly prepared, bagged, canned or bundled material (see for guidelines) is being collected by the waste haulers on Wednesdays.

  • 2. Why wasn’t my yard waste collected even though it was properly prepared?

    With the increase in quantity of the yard waste, the haulers are only able to complete a portion of the routes on a Wednesday. The haulers will begin the next Wednesday where they left off the previous week. This is with additional trucks and working extended hours.

  • 3. When will the debris be collected?

    Manatee County has contracted with a debris contractor who is running large claw trucks and trailers to collect the debris. An estimated 1 million cubic yards of material are out at the right-of-way for collection.  This will take some time for collection. We are preparing a map that will indicate where the trucks have been and where they are currently collecting the debris.

  • 4. Why can’t our haulers just collect it all?

    The haulers do not have the necessary resources (numerous claw trucks and trailers, staff, etc.) to collect the debris as well as continue to provide the contracted services of garbage, recycling and yard waste collection.

  • 5. Why are some saying that FEMA is collecting the debris?

    FEMA is an agency and does not do the collection of any debris.  FEMA has provided guidelines and requirements that affected entities must follow in order to be reimbursed and receive disaster relief assistance. The debris monitors and contractors, working with County staff, ensure that all the requirements are met.

  • 6. Why does the County need reimbursement?

    With anticipated costs of over $30 million dollars in debris expenses alone, Manatee County would be negatively impacted from a financial perspective. The funds simply are not there to cover these expenses.

  • 7. When will the debris collection be completed?

    Unfortunately the quantity of debris means that it will be a rather drawn out process before our community will return to “normal”. Whether it is two months or six months cannot be determined until we begin to have a better idea of the daily progress that is being made. This is currently fluctuating as we add additional resources on the streets every few days.

  • 8. How is it decided where to start or where to put the trucks next?

    Initially, safety priorities are used to decide which areas will be collected first. There was of course the access to roads that was addressed so that safety vehicles could travel the roads. Then we collected the schools so that students could safely return to school. The areas immediately around the schools are being collected so that students walking to school are not having to walk in the roads where the debris is blocking the sidewalk. Debris in storm drainage areas is being removed to avoid the potential for flooding should heavy rains come. Then the areas with the highest concentration of debris will be collected until all the unincorporated area has been cleared.

  • 9. I live in a city, what about my debris?

    Each municipality is responsible for collecting the debris within their boundaries. You may contact the solid waste department for your city for collection information.

  • 10. Can I take my debris to the landfill for free?

    Yes - through October 29th the tipping fees have been waived.

    No. You may take your debris to the landfill, but you will be charged the standard tipping fee. (Tipping fee rates can be found at The tipping fee covers costs incurred by the landfill for processing of the waste. If tipping fees were to be waived for all the debris generated by Irma, the landfill would suffer financially and the costs would not be reimbursable by FEMA due to the requirements imposed for hurricane generated debris disposal.



    Must be separated out

                                  Vegetative – cut trees, limbs, bagged leaves (may also be collected with yard waste)

    ·        No fencing – place in the C&D pile

    ·        No plastic bags in with the limbs and wood – set them alongside

    ·        Do not pile on top of backflows or water meters

    ·        Place on the right of way but not under electrical wires

    ·        Do not place in the roadway

    ·        Avoid mailboxes


                                  C&D (Construction and Debris) – building materials such as fencing, roof tiles and                                                     shingles, concrete, drywall, furniture, 2x4s or other wood used in construction,                                               etc.

    ·        No televisions or other electronic equipment


                                  White Goods – refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, etc.

    ·        Need to be emptied out prior to placing out for collection

                                  Yard Waste – normal yard waste generated from landscaping and lawn care

    ·        Please put Yard Waste in a 32 gallon trash can or a 30 gallon trash bag Yard Waste should not protrude above the can level.

    ·        If you do not wish to use trash cans or trash bags, you can put Yard Waste in bundles no longer than four (4) feet in length. 

    ·         Bundles cannot contain branches larger than six (6) inches in diameter. Any branch larger than six (6) inches in diameter should be cut in half length-wise, tied and bundled.

    ·        Tie bundles with heavy-duty string.

    ·        Bundles, bags, or containers can weigh no more than 50 pounds each.


                                  Garbage and Recycling – collected under normal collection guidelines

  • 12. Leaners and Hangers (trees and limbs over/into rights-of-way)

    Debris contractors began work today (Oct. 4, 2017) on what is referred to as “hangers and leaners.”  These are downed trees and limbs that are leaning or hanging into or over the right-of-ways (i.e., sidewalks, roadways, curbs, etc.).

    It is important to know that the hangers and leaners will only be removed up to the boundary of the right-of-way.  The tree or branches that are on private property cannot be cut or removed. That portion of the debris is the responsibility of the property owner. Manatee County is prohibited from doing any work on private property.