Debris Cleanup Begins In Wichita City Limits

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cleanup begins in Wichita city limits of debris the tornado left behind. If you live in the broad path the tornado took from south to northeast Wichita, you could be seeing city crews picking up limbs and brush.

To some folks in the path of this tornado, the sound of these public works trucks coming in their neighborhood is like the sound of the cavalry coming to their rescue, to rescue them from all the debris the tornado left behind.

One of the eleven Wichita Public Works crews taking to the streets to pick up tornado debris had only been collecting a few hours. But they were already getting good reviews from a south Wichita resident who only gave her first name, Rachel.

She says, "Those gentlemen are just fabulous. Thankyou! Thankyou! Bless your heart for doing this. My goodness did you see how quickly that went in there?"

Some 60 city employees with trucks and pickup equipment are making their was in a targeted zone. This will be a one-time-only pass through, but it follows what the city believes is the area for tornado damage, not general storm damage.

The intention is to just pick up tree limbs and brush. That’s the most important point the city is making – tree limbs and brush.

Interim Maintenance Engineer Aaron Henning, P.E. says, "All we can pick up at this time are tree limbs and brush. We can't pick up fencing material we can't pick up roof debris, anything of that nature."

That explains why the city equipment passed by a small pile of fencing without picking it up. The City Engineer says this allows the city to keep its options open in how the debris is discarded. It could be landfill, chipping, grinding, or burning. Folks are just glad it’ll be gone.

So if all goes smoothly, the city of Wichita could have its part of the debris picked up in about ten days.

Digging deeper, hazardous waste, such as chemicals, paints, and batteries, are not eligible for pickup.

They need to be separated and taken to the Household Hazardous Waste facility located at 801 N. Stillwell.

For more information, including where debris dumpsters are provided for residents in Sedgwick County, visit, where you’ll find more information about the pickup and the map of where city crews will be working.

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