IOWA DERECHO 2020

Here's what to do with tree debris in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City areas after the storm

The storm that swept across Iowa on Monday afternoon with high-force winds blew down thousands of trees, leaving Eastern Iowa residents and Corridor city crews to clean up the debris in the storm’s aftermath.

Here’s what residents need to know about cleaning up tree debris while crews work to clear debris and open up access to roads.

Updated Aug. 17:

Cedar Rapids

The city asks that residents keep debris off of streets and sidewalks and out of alleyways, and stack debris either between the street and sidewalk, or behind the curb or sidewalk in separate, distinct piles. Debris should not be mixed with glass, shingles, gutters or other rubble.

Residents should cut branches into sections no larger than 10 feet in length, if possible, and large trunks should be cut in halves or quarters until they can be easily moved. 

People should report tree damage through the city’s web reporting tool instead of by phone. 

Because of the tree damage, collection of garbage, recycling and yard waste may be delayed this week and is canceled Tuesday as sanitation crews are assisting public works and forestry workers with debris removal.

The city will share plans to resume collection services at a later date, but garbage carts will be prioritized when collection resumes. 

Transit service is suspended until further notice, the city announced Tuesday afternoon.

Marion

The city landfill, 1954 County Home Road, is open and only accepting garbage, not recyclable materials, electronics or hazardous household materials. Mixed loads of garbage and yard waste may be brought to this location from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Resource Recovery building was damaged in the storm and is closed until further notice.

The yard waste and compost location, 200 block of 44th Street, Marion. Open for residents daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; curbside collection underway.

Mount Trashmore trails and the overlook are closed until further notice. 

Linn County

Linn County has contracted with a specialized natural disaster recovery company Ceres Environmental Services, Inc. to assist the county in collection and disposal of storm-generated organic debris in unincorporated Linn County.

These locations are in addition to the two Solid Waste Agency locations, 1954 County Home Road, north of Marion, and 2250 A Street SW in Cedar Rapids. There is no charge to residents to drop off their organic storm debris. They will begin taking debris starting Tuesday, Aug. 18, except Dows Farm, which will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Morgan Creek County Park: Enter from E Ave NW, Cedar Rapids, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

Mount Vernon Secondary Road Shop: 788 Cedar River Road, Mount Vernon, 6 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Whittier Secondary Road Shop: 721 County Home Road, Springville, 6 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Dows Farm: Enter off Mount Vernon Road across from the Lighthouse and Edith Lucille’s, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. weekdays.

The hours of operation will be expanded to include seven days a week once additional capacity is in place.

Special Instructions:

The sites are for organic storm debris only (trees, brush, vegetation).

  These locations are self-haul, drop-off only. Staff is not available to help unload debris.

  Tie down or cover your loads to prevent debris from falling out during transport.

 Use caution around the heavy equipment at the drop-off sites.

If assistance is needed for debris removal, homeowners are encouraged to contact local contractors. Be sure to get a quote for any contract work and do not pay up front for removal or repair services. Contact your insurance company for information regarding damage claims. Save all receipts in case the expenses are eligible for reimbursement from insurance or a disaster relief program.

Residents in unincorporated Linn County who are unable to dispose of their organic debris on their own may place it near their drive entrance for Linn County to remove. Debris placed for removal should not block the roadway or sight lines and must be accessible by road crews. When possible, cut tree limbs into 10 feet long sections.

The Secondary Road Department estimates the cleanup of tree damage in unincorporated Linn County to equal 8,000 dump truck loads of organic debris. This includes debris on private property in rural Linn County. Due to the volume of organic debris, the pick-up process could take several months.

Iowa City and Johnson County

Johnson County residents may take tree debris to the Iowa City Landfill, 3900 Hebl Ave. SW, Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are no size limitations or bundling requirements on limbs or branches that are dropped off here and no disposal fees. The city of Iowa City asks that people plan on long lines and wait times. 

City crews will use an endloader or skid steer to pick up tree limbs greater than four inches in diameter and longer than four feet, including tree trunks up to six feet in length. Garbage collection may not happen on residents’ regular pickup day.

Iowa City residents with curbside pick-up service may place smaller tree debris in yard waste containers to be picked up on normal garbage days. Staff will run extra routes as staffing and equipment allow.

Wood debris that is four inches in diameter or less should be tied in bundles not exceeding 18 inches around and no more than 48 inches in length. Staff will manually pick up this debris, so it must meet the size requirements.

North Liberty

In North Liberty, tree limbs can be piled between the street and sidewalk, parallel to the curb in sections of 10 feet or less. City crews will start picking up as early as Tuesday, the city said.

Starting Wednesday morning, a debris site will open for residents at 290 Golfview Drive, just west of the public works campus. 

City pickup and the Golfview site are limited to tree limbs and brush. Bulky item disposal such as siding and fencing should be arranged with a garbage provider. Arrangements can be made with Johnson County Refuse to have bulky items picked up on your regular day of service for a fee by calling (319) 665-4498.

Coralville

Crews in Coralville will collect tree debris at the curb in the area between the street and the sidewalk from residential properties only.  Branches and limbs placed at the curb should be no greater than 6 inches in diameter and can be up to 6 feet long. Residents also can put yard debris at the curb in biodegradable Coralville yard waste bags or in a 33-gallon container that has an annual yard waste sticker. Due to the significant amount of storm damage throughout the city, collection may take a few weeks and may not be on your regular garbage day, the city said Tuesday.

Coralville residents can bring tree branches of any size to a temporary drop-off site at the Hawkeye Express train lot, 2430 James St., just south of IHOP and the Comfort Inn & Suites. The site will be open every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is available to Coralville residents only. Only tree debris will be accepted.

The City does not remove trees or limbs from private property. Residents and businesses who need help cleaning up storm debris should contact a private hauler or tree/landscaping service.

If you have other items to throw away as a result of storm damage, such as siding or roofing materials, put them in your garbage cart as long as the lid closes. To throw away large items that do not fit in your cart, make an appointment for a special pickup by calling (319) 248-1740 or fill out an online pickup request at www.coralville.org/specialtrash. For more information, contact the City of Coralville Streets Department at (319) 248-1740

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