Metro collects more than 31,000 tons of flood debris

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 3:49pm

What can you do with 8,000 trash bags, 2,000 pairs of gloves and 400 bottles of hand sanitizer?

Metro Beautification and Environment, a division of Public Works, said you can launch a massive community service effort to clean up flood-damaged areas across Davidson County. So far, they have supervised 386 community service workers and provided 4,000 T-shirts.

Those numbers are in addition to the massive task of removing thousands of tons on debris piled on curbs and collected at Metro’s three temporary staging sites.

As of Wednesday, more than 125,000 cubic yards (more than 31,000 tons) of flood debris had been removed in the past 10 days. More than 100 Public Works and contracted trucks are involved in the cleanup.

Workers even began removing construction and demolition debris from Edwin Warner Park — the staging area that drew criticism for the potential for pollution created at the popular west Nashville park. Other sites are on Mainstream Drive near MetroCenter and Pulley Road near the airport.

Although the massive trash piles create eyesores, Public Works officials offered assurances that no toxic waste is being collected at the temporary sites.

The sites are merely locations for sorting the debris — in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations — before permanent disposal at landfill locations.

Construction and demolition debris is being taken to two landfills owned by Southern Services Inc., while white goods and appliances are being taken to waste-management companies such as PSC, after coolant has been removed. 

Brush is going to Red River Ranch, a mulch contractor at the Bordeaux Mulch Facility, and anything that doesn't fit one of those categories ends up at BFI’s landfill in Murfreesboro.

Metro’s recycling centers have also been involved in debris cleanup. About 800 people have gone to Metro Recycle Convenience Centers to properly dispose of flood debris since May 10. Public Works has temporarily waived disposal fees at all centers.