Debris pickup deadline reached for eastern Kentucky flood victims

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are out in two hard-hit counties working to remove debris...
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are out in two hard-hit counties working to remove debris from state highways.(WKYT)
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 12:51 PM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WSAZ) – Roadside debris pickup ends today (Nov. 1) in eastern Kentucky, three months after devastating flooding wiped out communities.

Crews have traveled across seven counties removing debris flood victims have placed along the sides of county and state roads.

“The flooding affected so much and we had so much debris from homes and things that were flooded and so it’s been a good response,” said Shantana Woodward from KYTC District 12.

According to data from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, almost 150,000 tons of debris have been removed from right of ways so far and trucks are still picking up dozens of loads of debris in a single day.

“The aftermath of Eastern Kentucky flooding left unimaginable wreckage. But crews have been hard at work, collecting more than 142,000 tons of debris along roadways to help Kentuckians recover,” Gov. Beshear said. “These crews have done amazing work, and because of their efforts the right-of-way debris removal efforts are winding down.”

Public dump sites also close Nov. 1.

According to the KYTC, crews will spend the next two weeks making final rounds to collect debris in the following counties: Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry and Pike.

“Don’t get too worried if you take it out there and it’s sitting out there for a day or two, we’re just trying to get them all done at once so it may take a little bit to get to you,” said Woodward.

Eligible items for pickup include non-recyclable materials, drywall, sinks, tubs, furniture as well as electronic waste and large appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines.

Items not eligible for pickup include demolition materials including destroyed mobile homes, sheds, garages or common household trash.

Crews will also not take commercial property debris or anything that would require crews to go on private property.

If you miss the deadline, you can contact your fiscal court to discuss other ways to remove debris, officials say.

Waterway debris removal is still ongoing.

Kentucky transportation officials are asking neighbors not to push any debris into creeks or streams.

“Intentionally placing debris in streams without a permit is illegal and can cause flooding and pollute water,” said Secretary Jim Gray.

To date, crews have removed 220,764 tons of debris from waterways.


Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

Debris eligible for pickup include:

  • Flood damaged materials – non-recyclable materials such as drywall, asphalt shingles, sinks, tubs and floor tiles; non-recyclable building contents and personal items, such as carpeting and rugs, furniture and clothing.
  • Electronic waste – electrical or electronic devices such as TVs, computers, printers, radios and small appliances.
  • Household hazardous waste – paints, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides. They must be in a secured container and not leaking in any way. However, nothing can be bagged.
  • Large appliances - such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dryers. Residents are cautioned to follow local government guidelines for disposal of refrigerators, which must be free of rotted food if placed outside for pickup.
  • Vegetative materials – debris from trees, limbs, brush, leaves.

Debris not eligible for pickup include:

  • Demolition materials – If more than one wall of a structure is standing and not in immediate danger of collapsing, it is considered demolition and not debris. This includes destroyed houses, mobile or manufactured homes, sheds, barns, shops, carports, and garages.
  • Commercial property debris – Pertains to debris from business and commercial properties such as mobile home parks, industrial parks, cemeteries, apartments and golf courses.
  • Private property debris – Debris located on private property that would require crews to get onto private property to collect. This also includes debris that does not pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public.
  • Bagged debris of any kind.
  • Common household trash and recyclables.