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Final pick-up date announced for nonorganic storm debris in Cedar Rapids

Tree debris from a derecho that moved through the Cedar Rapids area on August 10, 2020, lines...
Tree debris from a derecho that moved through the Cedar Rapids area on August 10, 2020, lines the curbs in tall piles in a southeast-side neighborhood on Monday, August 24, 2020.(Corey Thompson/KCRG)
Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 3:32 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Crews continue to work their way into neighborhoods for the collection of nonorganic storm debris, and have completed a first pass on approximately 40 percent of streets. Contractor crews anticipate reaching the majority of streets within the next two to three weeks, aided by the City’s Solid Waste and Recycling crews.

The final pickup of nonorganic storm debris will begin November 15, 2020. Crews will go through the entire community again starting on November 15; anything picked up by crews after November 15 will be considered the last pass with no returning passes.

Residents are encouraged to continue placing items curbside for free pickup by the City; please keep nonorganic debris separate from tree debris, out of the street and sidewalk.

Find more information and a list of items that are accepted for collection on the City’s website.

Tree debris pickup continues in all quadrants of the city. A cut-off date has not yet been established for tree debris pickup; crews will continue to collect tree debris in the right-of-way until a reasonable cut-off date is determined based on remaining material. The cut-off date will be communicated to the public in advance so residents know when the final pass will occur. Crews are focusing on cul-de-sacs, dead-ends, private drives, intersection safety concerns, picking up additional material placed out by residents, and returning to missed piles.

On Saturday, October 31, the contractor will wrap up collection activities early afternoon and remove truck activity from roadways, in anticipation of children and families out trick-or-treating.

Residents can view a map on the City’s website that reflects real-time location of crews instead of generic work zones, giving the public a more accurate illustration of the type of work and where the work is being performed. Crews will return to each street multiple times; however, residents can also report missed locations on the City’s website.

City Limb and Tree RemovalsCrews continue to work on the removal of hazardous limbs from City trees and hazardous limbs from private trees that are hanging into the right-of-way and have the potential to fall. Crews are trying to move quickly to address safety issues on more than 40,000 street trees before winter, and will leave limb debris behind for pickup at a later date. Residents can assist by pushing limb debris curbside for pickup. Contractors may remove hazardous limbs now for safety, and then return at a later date to remove the entire tree if necessary.

Street tree removals are also underway. Certified arborists, working in cooperation with City Forestry staff, are identifying public trees that will need to be removed. While the goal is to keep as many trees as possible, there are trees that are standing that are structurally unsound and will need to be removed. Trees that have lost a large portion of their center crown or trees with split trunks are examples of trees that will have to be removed out of concern for safety. Crews will remove tree debris at the time of the removal. An orange tag will be stapled to the tree if it will be removed; crews will remove the stump at a later date.

A map showing where public tree work is underway may be viewed on the City’s website.

Direct questions about removals to forestry@cedar-rapids.org.

The burn ban remains in effect for the safety of all residents. The Fire Department understands that recreational fires are an activity that many residents enjoy, however, there is still a significant fire risk in the community by additional tree debris that needs to be collected. More importantly, there are many homes that have plastic tarps over large sections of the roof as homeowners are awaiting repairs. There is concern that a spark from a recreational fire could unnecessarily endanger others.

The Fire Department is allowing Liquid Petroleum (LP) gas and natural gas fire pits to be used. However, no wood-fired recreational fires are allowed due to the possibility of sparks. The Fire Department will continue to evaluate the burn ban on a regular basis and provide updates to the community.

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