Beshear: Debris clearance intensifies in flood-hit area; contractor already deploying debris collection teams, trucks | New

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Governor Andy Beshear announced in a statement Aug. 12 that the “monumental challenge of recovery and reconstruction from disastrous flooding in Eastern Kentucky has entered a critical new phase” with the start of widespread removal. waste.

“We are taking a giant step towards recovery from this disaster,” Beshear said. “While much work lies ahead, the start of debris removal is a major step in helping our fellow Kentucky people, who have suffered so much, recover and rebuild.”

A national company, AshBritt, through competitive bidding, won a contract from the Kentucky Cabinet of Transportation (KYTC) to remove debris from the state right-of-way in the 13-county disaster area. Local governments were also given the opportunity to participate in the county right-of-way clearing contract.

Eleven of the 13 counties covered by President Biden’s disaster declaration have chosen to join the contract: Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Martin, Owsley, Perry and Pike.

“We in the Transport Cabinet are ready to provide relief to local governments in the disaster area,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “Debris removal not only helps eliminate safety hazards along roads and homes, it’s a key step on the road to recovery as Kentuckians seek a fresh start from the aftermath of the storms. “

The first truck was deployed on Saturday August 6 in Whitesburg in Letcher County and by Thursday August 11, 429 loads had been collected in Breathitt, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry and Pike counties. As of August 12, the company has deployed 43 trucks and crews to those six counties to continue debris removal, with an emphasis on engaging Kentucky contractors.

Under the firm’s contract with AshBritt, residents can place most types of flood debris on the right-of-way in front of their homes for collection by AshBritt trucks and crews. Debris eligible for pickup includes:

• Construction and demolition materials — non-recyclable building materials such as drywall, asphalt shingles, sinks/tubs, floor tiles, etc.; building contents and non-recyclable personal property, such as rugs/rugs, furniture and clothing.

• Electronic waste — electrical or electronic devices such as televisions, computers, printers, radios and small appliances.

Household hazardous waste – paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, pesticides, etc. Must be in a secure container and not leak in any way.

• Appliances — major appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers. Residents are asked to follow local government guidelines for the disposal of refrigerators, which must be free of rotting food if placed outdoors for pick-up.

• Plant matter — tree debris, branches, brush, leaves.

The contract does not cover ordinary household waste and recyclable materials or bagged debris of any kind. The debris removal service does not replace regular garbage collection. AshBritt’s debris collection and disposal will be monitored by ER Assist Inc., a company specializing in helping state and local governments navigate federal rules that govern disaster recovery expense reimbursements.

Safety Note: AshBritt debris collection trucks are typically large vehicles supplemented with trailers for increased capacity. In many areas they will have to operate from a traffic lane. Motorists are strongly advised to exercise caution by slowing down and leaving enough space on the roads.

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