FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Monday, Aug 15, 2016
City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421
Media ReleasesContact(s): Jennifer Godwin | (o) 501 371 4421 | (c) 501 804 4822
City’s Crews Tackling Excess Storm Debris, Yard Waste
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (August 15, 2016) – The City of Little Rock is ramping up its response efforts to manage the volume of storm debris and yard waste seen following the severe weather over the past few weeks.
Crews from multiple departments will be working throughout this week, including Saturday, to pick up the remaining piles of limbs, debris, and other yard waste. That includes up to 45 employees and 16 vehicles from Public Works; Housing and Neighborhood Programs; and Parks and Recreation. Several knuckleboom trucks, a grapple truck and two debris trucks with trailers will be assisting with the eight routes around the City.
“The big storm events over the past month coupled with the multiple extreme heat days have hampered our Public Works crews,” City Manager Bruce T. Moore said. “While we have made some progress, we are moving to an all-hands-on-deck approach to tackle the sheer magnitude of debris and yard waste that still needs to be collected.”
According to the Public Works Solid Waste division, crews picked up 800 more tons of yard waste in July than in June. Typically, July is one of the slower months for yard waste, but straight-line winds in mid-July and continued severe weather led to a substantial increase in the amount of yard waste and storm debris. Nearly 800 requests of oversized piles requiring a knuckleboom truck were made to the 311 call center since July 14, an unusually high volume.
“Our citizens have been incredibly patient as we work through this extensive list, and for that we are very appreciative,” Moore said, adding that residents who have already put out yard waste should leave it curbside.
While storms led to the increase in debris to be picked up, the excessive heat has also hurt collection efforts. When the heat index hits a certain level, crews aren’t able to work outside for as long.
“Rain doesn’t slow us down as much as the heat, so we are hopeful that this week we can get caught up,” Solid Waste Division Manager Warren Atkins said. “It’s taking crews twice as long to pick up the debris because of the sheer number of residences needing the service, and the size of the piles.”
The City anticipates being back to the normal yard waste schedules around Labor Day.