Debris Management

For Homeowners

After storms, homeowners should be sure to separate the debris into two piles at the curb: one pile for construction debris, the other for vegetative debris (trees, limbs, etc.).  In many cases, the N.C. Department of Transportation will pick up storm-related debris along state-maintained roads in severely-impacted areas. When such pick up is approved, the NCDOT will work with local emergency management officials to determine collection locations and schedules and the public will be notified about debris pickup schedules.

Keep these items in mind while collecting debris for removal:

  • Check your homeowners insurance as often debris cleanup is covered by insurance and arrangements for its collection will be handled by the insurance company;
  • NCDOT will collect vegetation debris such as trees and limbs, as well as building materials, but they must be separated;
  • Property owners are asked to cut storm-related debris into five- or six-foot pieces, if possible, and place it along the roadway, but out of travel lanes;
  • Major appliances, household hazardous materials such as paint, propane tanks, etc., and other similar materials will not be collected. It is recommended that property owners contact their county emergency management office regarding how to dispose of those items. 

For Local Governments

Debris removal is one of the biggest challenges in after any disaster.  From lack of available contractors, to improper monitoring, to procurement violations which impact FEMA reimbursement, debris removal problems can impede the community’s recovery. To help address these challenges, NCEM encourages using prepositioned disaster debris removal and monitoring contracts for activation by local governments and state agencies.  

Prepositioned Contracts

  • Contracts are prepositioned in geographic regions (see map).  
  • NCEM is competitively bidding the contracts in full compliance with state and federal (2 CFR Part 200) procurement requirements.  
  • Primary, secondary and tertiary contracts for debris removal and monitoring will be awarded in each region. 
  • Contractors are required to provide bonds to secure their performance.

Voluntary Program

Use of these contracts is entirely voluntary. Local governments and state agencies with established debris contracts may continue using existing contractors. All units of local government and state agencies are eligible to activate the contracts in any type of disaster.

Local Control

  • Local governments will still manage and oversee disaster debris operations in their respective jurisdictions.
  • Local governments and state agencies will still apply directly to FEMA for reimbursement in federally declared disasters.  
  • Local governments and state agencies choosing to activate the contracts  will issue a notice to proceed to the prepositioned contractors in that region and work directly with the contractors on debris operations. 
  • Contractors will be directly responsible to the local government or state agency activating the contracts. 
  • Counties will still work with NCDOT under mutual aid agreements for debris removal on DOT rights-of-way.