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Monterey County officials answer questions on Pajaro Debris Removal

PAJARO, Calif. (KION-TV)- Monterey County officals are answering questions on how the debris removal works for the community of Pajaro.

Businesses and people have begun the cleanup efforts after they were allowed to return to the community of Pajaro this past Thursday.

However, residents still have questions about how the process works and who is organizing and coordinating the effort. The County allowed KION to share their answers to the questions they are getting from residents.

  1. What is this program?
    • The County of Monterey has organized teams of private contractors and requested support from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTS) to remove flood debris from residential communities and any household hazardous waste (HHW) that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment.
  2. How does it work?
    • Those impacted only need to put debris on the curb in front of their homes for pick up and removal.
    • The County and its contractors cannot access private property to remove debris.
  3. Do I need to sort my debris?
    • Debris must be sorted into types for pick up to appropriately be disposed. Debris should be separated into six piles. Most importantly, household hazardous waste and large appliances such as washers, dryers need to be separated.
  4. What types of debris is eligible?
    • ONLY FLOOD DEBRIS will be accepted.
    • Tires are not eligible.
    • Commercial/Industrial Debris are not eligible.
  5. Can I use the dumpsters in the community?
    • Dumpsters are for commercial use only.  Businesses cannot put Household Hazardous Waste in these bins.
  6. Can I drop off debris at another location?
    • Debris must be collected curbside in front of your home. Dropping debris off at a location that is not your home or not an approved collection location would be considered illegal dumping.
  7. Where is the debris going?
    • The debris will be disposed of according to government code at the Regen Landfill in Marina.
  8. Am I required to participate?
    • No, this program is optional.
    • Residents who do not wish to use this curbside removal program can should work with their insurance provider to determine the best course of action for removing debris.
    • Dropping off flood debris on public or private property is considered illegal dumping.
  9. Where will this service be offered?
    • The community of Pajaro, Trafton Road, Hudson Landing Road, Osborn Rd, Elkhorn Rd.
  10. How long will the service be offered?
    • The service began March 25, 2023 and will likely continue for several weeks to a month. This is a slow process and as such not all of the debris will be removed immediately. The crews will be making their way through the community and continue to cycle through for several weeks. They are prioritizing high density areas and major through fares.
  11. What should I do with all of this mud?
    • Mud can be moved to the curb with other debris.
  12. How much will this cost me?
    • Curbside Removal of flood debris is FREE to flood victims.
    • The County of Monterey has organized this service for residents in flooded areas such as Pajaro at no charge to those impacted by floods.
    • All upfront costs will be paid by the county.
  13. When will the debris be removed from my curb?
    • Contract crews are working throughout the community pick to up piles as quickly as possible. Crews will revisit neighborhoods for additional pick up.
  14. I have concerns that my landlord is unfairly asking me to make repairs, where can I find more information?
    • There are resources for advice on this topic including: Watsonville Law Center, 15 Main St #207, Watsonville, (831) 722-2845 and Echo Fair Housing: 831 566 0824. 
  15. I need assistance with muck outs, where can I find assistance?
    • Residents who need help with getting ruined items out of their homes can get assistance from nonprofit agencies and volunteers. Please call 211 to get connected.

If you still have questions regarding the debris removal program, you can click on the County's storm recovery page here.

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Derrick Ow

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