Temporary sites open to accept debris from Hurricane Matthew


Under the direction of Governor Pat McCrory, the state environmental department is helping communities rebuild and recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew.

The department is working with local governments to establish locations where storm debris can be temporarily stored and processed. Temporary debris sites are needed to speed up the cleanup process that would otherwise take much longer if all the debris had to be hauled to a landfill.   

“We learned from the damage left by Hurricane Floyd 17 years ago that we had to be better prepared for a storm of this magnitude,” said Donald R. van der Vaart, secretary of the state environmental department. “Knowing that we would need dozens more places to handle storm debris, we were prepared to get these facilities online quickly to speed up the cleaning and rebuilding of these communities.”  

As of Tuesday morning, environmental staff had activated 58 temporary debris staging and storage sites throughout the eastern part of the state. Many of those sites have already been accepting waste for several days.

Approved sites can be used for staging yard waste, land clearing or demolition debris. Some communities will also use wood chippers at the sites to break down trees, branches and other vegetative debris, or devices to safely burn vegetative debris. Debris temporarily stored at the sites must be hauled to a final disposal location or recycled before the site’s six-month activation period expires.

Before a site can be activated, state environmental and cultural officials must approve the location and ensure that any waste will not harm the environment or any historical features. Sites must also comply with other state and federal laws. The management of debris at these sites help local governments in the federal reimbursement process.  

In days leading up to the storm, staff with the state environmental agency enhanced their map of the temporary debris storage sites and provided the map to state and local officials. The map is updated as new sites are added and can be found on the agency’s website at: http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/waste-management/waste-management-rules-data/waste-management-gis-maps/debris-sites-map-viewer.

Temporary debris staging site in Columbus County

Debris collection on the N.C. coast

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