Smithtown officials say brush and other debris from Sandy and the nor’easter that followed will be collected from homes by Christmas.
Regular collection of bagged leaves is on hold while town highway crews pick up storm-related debris from homes. Crews have not reached all homes, but are expected to do so by Nov. 23, Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen said Wednesday in a memo to Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio.
Once the first round of debris pickup is complete, crews will revisit all homes and collect remaining debris by Dec. 23, Jorgensen said, adding the cleanup will cost the town about $4 million.
He said 145 highway workers are working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, to collect debris. A private contractor works 40 hours a week to assist the cleanup effort.
“I think they’re doing an extraordinary job,” Vecchio said.
Through Wednesday, crews had brought 550 to 650 tons of debris a day to the town recycling center in Kings Park, where it is ground up, Jorgensen said. From there, debris is removed by private trash haulers or brought by town trucks to a Town of Brookhaven burn facility.
Above: Residents say in a matter of minutes, five large trees fell one after another across the road on Dorothy Lane in Kings Park during Sandy. (Oct. 30, 2012)