NEW: Royal Palm close to completing Irma debris pickup


Royal Palm Beach is close to completing pickup of debris left behind by Hurricane Irma about a month after the storm plowed through the area, toppling trees and fences.

The village has completed a first pass around its 12 square miles, picking up more than 18,000 cubic yards at a cost of about $120,000, Village Manager Ray Liggins said Tuesday. A second round of pickups is underway — and expected to take just seven days.

An estimated 300 piles are left throughout Royal Palm Beach. Those will be picked up over the next week by the village’s debris-removal contractor, Bergeron Emergency Services. That second round will cost about $40,000, Liggins said, adding that he does not expect a third trip through the village to be necessary.

RELATED: Why hasn’t RaceTrac in Royal Palm Beach opened?

“They’ve worked hard to keep the trucks here,” Liggins said of Bergeron.

Bulk pickup — for items including refrigerators and couches — is ongoing, provided by Republic Services, Royal Palm’s regular contractor. And now that the storm has passed, new piles of branches are being added along roadways.

“There’s actually homeowners who are doing regular fall trimming,” Liggins said. Those new mounds — “If the pile’s green, it’s not from the hurricane,” Liggins added — will have to wait for Republic trucks to make their rounds.

The village manager said that while Royal Palm Beach’s smaller size helped the debris-removal process move faster, he also credited Bergeron and a debris map developed by Royal Palm. Residents could see where Bergeron’s trucks had picked up vegetation — and so could Bergeron’s management.

“It’s a pretty easy thing to monitor,” Liggins said.

The unincorporated areas of the western communities will have to wait a bit longer for their debris to be picked up, with the Solid Waste Authority estimating cleanup in some spots may extend into November.



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