'How long will my trash be here?': Timeline for debris removal in Harris County

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A contractor paid to remove Harvey debris has a shocking prediction as to when the trash will go away. (KTRK)

"How long will my trash be here?"

It's one of the most asked questions in the wake of Harvey. By Tuesday evening, Rick Maynard's pile was much smaller than his neighbors' in Georgetown Colony.

"It's already an improvement. Everything is moving forward. It's a good time," said Maynard.

For some, the wait will be longer. Hundreds of homes flooded in Houston and Harris County. DRC Emergency Services is in charge of getting trucks to all of them to haul away what's now trash.

"We all have the same incentive, to get Houston back to normalcy," said Kurt Thormahlen, DRC's General Manager.

For the answer to the ever-present question, Eyewitness News followed the process. It starts at a staging area on Pinemont where trucks are measured and certified. Where they go is determined the day before.

"We have an end of the day meeting with the city and county and we determine our priorities and where to go in the morning," Thormahlen said.

Georgetown Colony off W. Little York was one of them Tuesday.

A double-barrel self loader truck spent at least half an hour at one home, loading scoop after scoop. The truck wasn't big enough. They still had to make another trip.

"It's a much longer process than people think. We wish we had a big vacuum and could just suck it up quickly," said Thormahlen.

In the end, Thormahlen expects the removal process to take four to six months. They'll remove some six million cubic yards -- enough trash to fill dump trucks from Houston to Portland, Oregon.

"I thought it would take longer," said Maynard.

Thormahlen asks for patience.

"When people see the process, it's pretty simple. It just takes time," he said.

DRC's contract includes as many as three passes at each flooded home.


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hurricane harveytrashhomeHouston
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