February 05, 2016

Final push to pick up flooding debris at curbsides under ‘Operation Recovery’ now underway

Federal-state debris removal and disposal program concludes Feb. 15

On Saturday, Feb. 6, “Operation Recovery” crews will be combing the 20 participating jurisdictions in Franklin, Jefferson St. Charles and St. Louis counties targeting remaining residential debris piled at curbsides. As Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday, with curbside pickups nearing completion, the federal-state debris removal and disposal program will conclude on Monday, Feb. 15.

Debris collections continue next week and residents are requested to plan ahead and move separated debris to the curbside as early as possible to meet the Feb. 15 deadline. Moving debris in advance and separating it as described in this graphic makes for more efficient pickup, recycling and proper disposal, and will help speed the recovery process: Debris, including small items, should NOT be bagged, but placed in piles at the curb.

Those in need of assistance getting debris to the curbside should contact United Way 211 by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626  |  TTY: 866-385-6525. Residents do not need to wait for FEMA inspections to clear out houses. 2-1-1 can also provide information on disaster-related volunteer opportunities and relief efforts so you can put your time and talent to work to assist others.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is collecting construction and demolition debris, household hazardous waste, paint, orphan containers (hazardous chemical containers swept away by flood water), electronic goods and white goods from residential curbsides. Collections of all types of debris from curbside end on Monday, Feb. 15.    

Residents should continue to check for updates or check with their local jurisdiction for updates. The site, which is available at, includes a list of participating communities, and instructions for separating different categories of debris for curbside pickup, along with restrictions. 

In other communities affected by flooding, debris is being picked up by city workers, regular trash haulers, contractors hired by the local government or volunteers. Please follow local guidance for special instructions in assisting and complying with these efforts.

Operation Recovery is a federal (FEMA) and state debris removal program being coordinated by the Missouri National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a result of a request for a federal emergency declaration by Gov. Jay Nixon on Jan. 2, and granted by President Barack Obama the same day.