Residents call for quicker debris removal

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“We are bringing out every truck possible from across the region to assist in our cleanup efforts,” read an update on the city’s website on Tuesday. “The city is not responsible for, or able to, take construction and demolition debris material. This includes wallboards, flooring, moldings, carpets, drywall, and paneling. Those items are covered by homeowner’s insurance and should not be mixed in with other garbage.”

“Still no garbage pick-up except for appliances on Saturday on Vermont and other narrow streets,” resident Steve Burke told the Herald on Facebook. “City Manager says not his responsibility to pick up construction debris. Maybe he’s right, but construction debris is mixed with original refuse they never picked up. It is comingled and there is no room to separate. There are safety and health issues here. Restricted access for emergency vehicles, increasingly blocked hydrants and two-week old food decaying. We are being denied basic services that the rest of Long Beach has already and continues to receive. I can’t explain it but we alone are being denied essential services. Why?”

Schnirman said that sanitation pickup was a primary focus of the recovery effort, and that it was being done “as quickly as humanly possible.” He also noted what had become known as Mount Sandy, a huge pile on the vacant Superblock that was more than 70 feet high and contained 200,000 cubic yards of sand that was removed from local streets.

“The physical cleanup is enormous, and the amount of debris removal is extraordinary,” Schnirman said. “This is moving as fast as humanly possible, it’s moving at warp speed 24 hours a day, and yet of course it’s never fast enough for any of us. I feel we have been successful in getting resources here … we’re getting it done here.”

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