The project manager announces a timetable for the collection of construction and demolition debris from the roadsides of the island

What do you do with over 20,000 cubic meters of landscape debris? Other than making a really big salad for a beaver, squeezing your own three-tier paper rolls, or making a bonfire visible from space… not much else except for grinding it into mulch.

The mountains of debris at the end of Wheeler Road will soon disappear, as a very large chipper has to be brought to the island by barge. After being taken to Wheeler Road he will begin what could be one of the biggest jobs of his little mechanical life, chipping and shredding so many cubic yards of wood into tiny pieces.

When this Herculean task is complete, a bed of mulch will be placed on the property where the construction and demolition debris will be deposited. Then this pickup will begin.

Although a good majority of this type of debris is harmless, some components could be. This is why a platform must be laid before dumping it on the Wheeler Road land.

Most of our construction debris consists of insulation, drywall, concrete blocks, wood, shingles, plaster, some electrical conduit, bricks, etc.

However, some pre-treated woods and varnished woods can be considered hazardous, as can items containing asbestos or lead-based paint. Some piles of household debris may include cans of paint/paint thinner, caulk, adhesives, or heavy-duty cleaners.

There are many items in our homes that are considered hazardous to our soil and groundwater, so this next step in the cleaning process can be a little more laborious.

If you or your cleaning crew keep throwing things on the sidewalk, it’s good to remember the characteristics of trash.

Flammability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity are the four types to keep in mind. There are certain types of household products that should never be mixed, some that can ignite if they get too hot in the sun, others that can create a problem if spilled. While most of these items are self-explanatory, it’s always good to be safe and separate them from the rest of the pile. You can always contact the Boca Grande Fire Department during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at (941) 964-2908 if you have questions about waste codes for potentially hazardous household materials.

Also remember that regular garbage containing food should not be mixed with C&D debris. “Regular” garbage, so to speak, should be kept in the regular collection bins which are picked up on Thursdays.

Across the county, more than 91,000 cubic meters of debris per day was collected by 138 debris trucks, each pulling a trailer.

If you see an illegal dumping, get the best possible description of the vehicle and the people involved. Then contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line, (239) 477-1000.