BOCA RATON, FL – May 14, 2019 – In preparation for hurricane season, the City of Boca Raton’s Sanitation Department is once again offering a special bulk and vegetation pickup for all customers in City limits. This is the second year the City is offering the Clean and Cut Program in order to encourage proactive hurricane preparation. The program asks residents to start by “cleaning” garages and storage areas and “cutting” and pruning trees and shrubs. The free additional pickups will begin in June on Wednesdays and Saturdays depending on the customer’s route.
Last year, the City decided to launch this program after facing sanitation challenges before Hurricane Irma in 2017. As the storm approached, residents prepared and secure their properties by cleaning out garages and trimming trees at the last minute. The volume of debris inundated sanitation dump sites and transfer stations which closed after reaching maximum capacity. The City’s Municipal Services Department had no other choice but to suspend operations, leaving hazardous materials vulnerable in hurricane force winds and residents dissatisfied and frustrated.
After the Clean and Cut program was completed in June of 2018, over 4,000 tons of garbage and bulk items were collected and over 1,000 tons of vegetation. Compared to June 2017, numbers increased by 18.5% with close to 800 additional tons of waste picked up from residents. Last June’s garbage collection was the highest amount of the year. Feedback from residents was positive and as a result, the program will continue this year.
Residents can avoid damage to their property by cleaning out garages, carports and sheds to make room for cars, patio furniture, planters and basketball hoops, all of which can cause property damage if left unsecured during high winds. Additionally, now is the time to cut and prune trees to avoid utility outages, flooding and property damages. Proper pruning of trees helps dissipate the wind load and may prevent trees from falling or losing large branches.
The Clean & Cut program is just one way the City of Boca Raton is helping residents prepare for hurricane season. The Boca Raton Public Library is hosting a program called Prepare, Respond and Recover from Disasters and Emergencies on Wednesday, May 15 at 6pm at the Downtown Library. Attendees will learn from the City’s emergency management team on how the City prepares for potential threats and what steps and preparations residents can take in advanced to protect themselves, their families, pets, homes, properties and businesses.
Additional resources are available on the City’s website, including a list of important phone numbers, tree pruning guidelines and opportunities to sign up for notifications and alerts. Residents can view their extra pick up days and additional hurricane preparedness information such as list of acceptable bulk items and proper pruning protocol through the City’s website at www.MyBoca.us/BePrepared. For more information, please call Sanitation Services at 561-416-3367.
Anne Marie Van Casteren
Public Relations Specialist