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FIRST ON 3: New Hanover Co. catching grief for not cleaning up debris; May change mind (UPDATED @ 5:15 pm)

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: New Hanover Co. catching grief for not cleaning up debris; May change mind
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UPDATE FROM NEW HANOVER COUNTY (5:15 PM)

(New Hanover County)--The following is the latest information concerning hurricane debris collection in New Hanover County. Municipal residents should follow instructions from the city of Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach or Wrightsville Beach.

There is no decision whether the county will activate it’s debris removal contract. New Hanover County is awaiting word whether the county will receive payment from FEMA to cover the cost of countywide debris pick up.

The cost to New Hanover County government could be as high as $500,000. In the interim, unincorporated county residents can call their trash hauler to make arrangements for debris pick up, or they may choose from one of four private companies accepting yard debris at a fee:

•Seaside Mulch, 201 North Green Meadows Drive
•Wilmington Materials, US 421 North
•Blue Horizon, 2869 North Kerr Ave
•Diversified Biomass, 606 Sunnyvale Drive (Commissioner Jason Thompson runs this company)

Companies charge $20-$30 per pickup truck load.

New Hanover County is continuing to conduct damage and debris assessments.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Irene has come and gone, but the mess remains. For thousands in the Cape Fear it's now clean-up time, but what are you suppose to do with all that debris?

New Hanover County at first said it's up to residents to get rid of their debris. Now the county says it has not decided what to do.

A common sight in neighborhoods all over the viewing area: piles of debris laying in front of homes. Getting rid of all this can be a challenge for some. It just all depends on where you live.

"I've got my wife here cleaning up right now," Alex Robbins said.

Robbins and his wife Barbara were busy Monday morning picking up limbs, branches, anything left behind by the storm.

"Everything has been fairly small," he said. "Nothing has fallen on any structures, so we've been very lucky."

The Robbins' big concern, just like thousands in the Cape Fear, is who will pick the debris up and when?

"If you're a customer in the city limits and you get city trash service, then we pick up your trash once a week, your recycling once a week and your yard waste once a week," City of Wilmington spokeswoman Malissa Talbert said. "There's no additional charge for that"

The City of Wilmington will have extra staff picking up debris. Residents can expect it to be picked up on their scheduled trash day, but the city says it could take crews a day or two longer.

The city asks residents to place small debris, like leaves and pine cones, in containers or bags. Limbs may be no longer than four feet and no larger than six inches in diameter. And the big no-no: don't mix plant debris with household debris, like appliances and furniture. No construction trash either

The Town of Leland is also addressing the debris issue. It has opened up a vegetative drop-off site on Old Lanvale Road.

"It's been fun," Ed Johnson said as he took his fifth truckload of debris to the site. "It keeps me out of trouble."

Despite the time and energy spent on cleaning up Johnson says it's part of living on the coast.

Carolina Beach and Kure Beach have announced they will pick up debris for free.

Reports are that New Hanover County is hoping President Obama will declare the county a disaster area so it won't have to pay for pick-up.

For more information visit http://www.wwaytv3.com/2011/08/29/hurricane-irene-the-scoop-debris-remov....

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