The cleanup process, unfortunately, will not be a quick one after a rare October ice storm that has left thousands without power and downed trees and tree limbs.
“Given the volume of storm debris throughout the community it will require an extended period of time for clean-up efforts to be completed,” a City of Guthrie spokesperson said. “It will require the community to work together, and it will require patience on everyone’s part.”
After touring the community, City leaders roughly estimated that city-wide there is approximately 220,000 cubic yards of tree limbs and debris to be removed. To put that in some perspective, if you stacked that amount of storm debris over a typical high school football field (53 1/3 yds. by 100 yds.), the stack would be would be 41 ft. tall. When you add the amount of storm debris to be removed from city parks, cemetery and other public properties the stack gets even taller.
Estimating the volume of storm debris:
- There are approximately 150 miles of roads in the Guthrie City Limits. A block is estimated to be 360 ft. in length (14.67 blocks per road mile). That equates to roughly 2,200 city blocks.
- Based on a quick windshield survey of the community it was estimated that on average there is roughly 100 cubic yds. of storm debris per block.
- 2,200 city blocks times an average of 100 cubic yds. per block equals a total of 220,000 cubic yds. of storm debris throughout the City.
- A few reminders and suggestions:
- Even if the City determines to provide free curbside limb pickup, city crews are not allowed on private property for storm debris cleanup. Each property owner/tenant is responsible for the cleanup of their own property. That includes everything from the street curb (paving) in front of your property all the way back to the middle of the ally or the back of your property if there is no alley.
- To be on the safe side, so that you don’t have to cut the limbs twice, if you are going to use the City Trash Service to dispose of the limbs in lieu of hauling them off yourself or contracting with a third party for this service you would want to cut the limbs in no more than 4 ft. in length.
- If you are placing your limbs at the curb for future pickup, remember to avoid piling debris on or near water meters, gas meters, electric facilities, mailboxes, fire hydrants or irrigation systems.
- On a side note, if you drag your limbs across the street to an adjacent park or city property, your limbs are still your responsibility.
The City of Guthrie is working on a citywide plan for storm debris clean up, and we’d like to thank residents for their patience as a solution is developed to address the large volume of tree limbs and debris around town. The more involved plan includes working through a wide array of issues such as but not limited to:
- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) generally allows for $20 per cubic yard (cradle to grave) for vegetative debris when estimating damage. Cleaning up and disposal of storm debris is more expensive than most individuals realize.
- Factors to be evaluated in determining if the City provides free curbside limb pickup:
- Do we follow the City of Edmond’s lead and limit curbside pick to only residential homes but do not include the curbside pickup service to businesses/churches or apartment complexes.
- Limited available city manpower and equipment for such a large undertaking. Using city crews for free curbside pickup would tie up city crews for an extended period of time.
- Total cost if the City retained a third party contractor to do the curbside pickup. Retention of a third party contract would require time to go through a public bid process.
- Determination on a Federal Disaster Declaration for Logan County that would allow the City to receive 75% reimbursement from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and eventually 12.5% reimbursement from OEM (Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management). This determination is not a quick process.
- Factors to be evaluated in determining if the City provides a designated free disposal site:
- A Debris Site location is subject to approval by DEQ (Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality) The City of Guthrie is in the process of submitting a “Debris Site Registry Application” to obtain DEQ’s approval.
- Given that Logan County is within the Oklahoma City MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) Air Quality Area, an exception to the prohibition on open burning for a natural disaster will have to be obtained from DEQ. This would dramatically reduce the City’s storm debris disposal costs. The City of Guthrie is in the process of submitting an open burn permit request.
- The City is also exploring the availability and cost of other options as well, such as using a Tub Grinder to grind up the tree limbs to reduce the size of the debris pile. Another opportunity to reduce disposal cost, if an open burn permit is not approved by DEQ.
- Determination on a Federal Disaster Declaration for Logan County that would allow the City to receive 75% reimbursement from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and eventually 12.5% reimbursement from OEM (Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management). This determination is not a quick process
In the meantime residents have two options for immediate limb and debris removal.
OPTION 1- Regular Trash Service
- On your regular trash day, you can place up to three tied bundles of limbs at the curb along with your regular trash can. Each bundle needs to be 55 lbs. or less, and limited to 4 feet long or less.
- On your bulk waste pick up day, you can place more than the three tied bundle limit, up to three cubic yards of total of limbs at the curb for pick up. Each bundle still needs to be 55 lbs. or less, and limited to 4 feet long or less.
- Bulk Waste Schedule:
- Monday Trash Day – 1st Wednesday
- Tuesday Trash Day – 2nd Wednesday
- Thursday Trash Day – 3rd Wednesday
- Friday Trash Day – 4th Wednesday
OPTION 2- City of Guthrie Convenience Center (Solid Waste Disposal) and Recycling Center
Address: 1506 N. Academy Road, Guthrie, OK 73044
Phone: (405) 282-2978 or call Municipal Services at (405) 282-8400
- Limbs can be hauled to the City of Guthrie Convenience Center.
- Hours Open:
- Tuesday Through Friday: 9 am to 4:45 pm & Saturday: 8 am to 4:45 pm
- CLOSED FROM 12 pm to 1 pm each day
- Closed: Sundays, Mondays, and Holidays
- Rates for limb disposal:
- $10.00 per cubic yard for city residents with a current Guthrie Utility Bill (MUST show bill)
- 12.50 per cubic yard for all others
- The price for a full size pickup filled to bed level is about $24.00 for Guthrie resident and about $30.00 for non-residents.