Volunteers work to help storm victims as Houston plans to remove debris

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The volunteers are sent by the city into the hardest hit areas to assist with cleaning duties and manual labor (KTRK)

In the water soaked neighborhoods of southwest Houston, the group of young men in yellow shirts are a welcome sight. They are helping elderly and needy homeowners drag out whatever's damaged, broken, and wet. The debris is moved to the curb, where the City of Houston will pick it up, starting Saturday.

"We're helping to remove carpet and floors as well, just the things they are not able to do as well," said Tyson McDonald, one of the volunteers.

The young men, current church missionaries, are among the volunteers recruited by the City of Houston in wake of the storm. Under the direction of the city, the volunteers are going to the hardest hit areas, offering homeowners help with cleanup and other manual labor needs. Starting tomorrow, the Solid Waste Department will begin picking up the storm debris curbside.

"Please contact 311 so we can map your location," said Harry Hayes, the Chief Operating Officer of Houston. "We want to know where you are because if you let us know that you might be helping people in your area."

Nearby, the city of Bellaire is also starting the debris pickup process. Workers are going block by block, working to pick up the debris as quickly as possible.

"Everybody on the downstairs level, on the south side of the street, got hammered and had water in their house," said Mary, resident on Larch Lane who didn't want to give her name.

To speed up the process, the City of Houston wants you to separate the debris: household trash in one pile, furnishings in another, broken electronics, tree limbs, and any oil or paint related products. This will help work crews more efficiently direct the debris to recyclers and others who can handle each type of materials.

If you have no storm damage, but your trash or recycling was missed, the city wants you to pull your bins back into your home or yard. More rain is expected Saturday, and leaving the bins out will not help the community. Your regular trash and recycling will be picked up at your next regularly scheduled pick up date.

For more information about the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department and its services, residents may check online at www.houstonsolidwaste.org, on Facebook, on twitter @houstontrash or call 311, the City of Houston's Customer Service Hotline.

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