Town Says Storm Debris From Yards Is Owner Responsibility to Clear Away

Just because a wind-packing Isaias, Henri or Ida blows by your house and knocks down your trees, that doesn’t mean that the Town of Huntington will be by to haul away the debris.

Last week’s storm served as yet another reminder about the rules around debris cleanup,

Residents of Eaton’s Neck complained on social media that the town had not only failed to remove the storm debris they had piled at the curb for pickup, they said that a town code enforcement officer had warned them about penalties for stacking debris in the street. Some also quoted Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci as saying the town had authorized the cleanup of Lloyd Harbor, which was especially hard hit by the most recent storm.

But The Town of Huntington does not provide highway services to the VIllage of Lloyd Harbor. which has its own operations. And town rules don’t require the highway or other town department to pick up loose debris coming off out  private yards.

“Highway removes debris blocking Town roads in their initial response to make the roads passable, they then go back on subsequent passes and remove the debris that they have temporarily placed on the side of the road. They do not otherwise pick up private yardwaste. Yardwaste is picked up by the Department of Environmental Waste Management during yardwaste collection weeks and it cannot be loose.

“Yardwaste must be bundled and tied, weigh less than 50 lbs. and be under 2’x2’x4′ in size (tree limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter) or else it will not be collected, as larger items can damage the hydraulics in the waste collection truck.”

Highway Superintendent Kevin Orelli said residents sometimes misunderstand what services the department provides, or remember the cleanup after Tropical storm tropical storm Isaias FEMA-funded cleanups that followed Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“Unfortunately in Eaton’s Neck, some were under the impression that we would just automatically pick up storm debris,” Orelli said. “We saw contractors just dumping trees at the side of the road but we told residents that debris contractors should haul it away.”

Superstorm Sandy left an estimated 337,546.01 cubic yards of yard debris in Suffolk County, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Orelli said that ultimately the department cleared away debris.


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