Debris removal contract up for bids

Published 12:04 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
After Hurricane Dennis ripped through the Atmore area last Sunday, leaving downed trees and bits and pieces of many Atmore residents' homes in its wake, the process of cleanup is in full swing.
One aspect of cleanup is debris removal, and Don Whatley, head of the Atmore Street and Sanitation Department, has several tips for Atmore residents looking to rid themselves of tree limbs or shingles from their home.
"Get (the debris) to the street as soon as possible," Whatley said. "Get it there as fast as you can. Be sure to separate the C&D (Construction and Demolition) stuff and the vegetation."
Construction and Demolition materials consist of shingles, woodwork, metal work, or any other materials from the house that may have been damaged by the hurricane. Vegetation consists of tree limbs, shrubs, or other plant-life taken down by the storm's winds.
Whatley also requests that household items be kept out of the debris piles brought to the side of the street for contractors to pick up.
"Keep electronics out of it," Whatley said. "We can't put that in our landfill. Put that in a separate pile, and we'll deal with it later."
At a press conference Friday afternoon at Atmore City Hall, Mayor Howard Shell said debris removal would be put up for bid Monday, and he hoped work would begin the following Monday.
"We'll put it out for bid July 18," Shell said. 'After we receive and award a bid, we'll try to begin cleanup July 25. The pickup will end September 16."
Shell also requested that citizens do not mix up their debris.
"Do not mix up debris," Shell said. "Keep it separate. Positively no household garbage will be mixed with the debris."
In addition to city plans, Shell touted the efforts of several faith-based organizations that will be making their way to Atmore in the coming days.
"There are a number of church groups coming to help with the cleanup," Shell said. "The Baptists out of Oklahoma have been based at the First Baptist Church for a few days. The Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have a very large contingent coming. They'll begin staging tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 a.m. The Mennonites are sending in a strike force at 9 in the morning Saturday to assist elderly, put up temporary roofs, and assist with other needs."
The Escambia County Fire &Rescue Squad, in conjunction with other rescue squads from throughout the state, will also begin operations in the city in the coming days.
FEMA and the American Red Cross are also available to help with any assistance Atmore residents may have.
For those wishing to dispose of their debris themselves, Whatley said the city landfill would be open for waste disposal.
"The city landfill is open for C&D," Whatley said. "We are accepting construction and demolition, and that's not electronics. We cannot accept computers, TVs, anything with a circuit board we cannot accept."
Tom Wolfe, head of the Atmore Utilities Department, had one request for those looking to rid themselves of their debris.
"We request that they not stack their debris on water meters," Wolfe said. "It could result in your service being interrupted when the contractor damages it picking things up."
Whatley said that all other schedules were returning to normal, but he was still unsure of where the debris would be disposed of.
"Household garbage is back on a regular pickup schedule," he said. "That's about as far as I know. I don't have any idea where the landfill will be and it's a little too soon to give information on that."

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