Biloxians Must Obey Tree, Trash, And Debris Regulations

The city of Biloxi has sent out a warning to its residents. Garbage trucks will only haul off fallen tree limbs if they're less than five feet long, and no more than six inches in diameter.

Biloxi's public works crews have noticed several tree limb piles sitting on the sides of city roads. And they're worried that contractors are the one's leaving the limbs there. Biloxi has a long standing policy that says contractors must haul tree limbs and other debris to approved landfills.

Two of the piles spotted by the public works crews are on Shorecrest Road. They're at the foot of Lynne Nix's driveway. It took Mrs. Nix a lot of time and effort to haul parts of 50 dead trees from the middle of her three acre property to the edge of the road.

"I've gone through two wheelbarrows, and we've gone through two chainsaws," she noted.

And Nix has done most of the work herself.

"Because who else is going to do it," she wondered.

For at least six months, her pile of tree limbs on Shorecrest Road has gotten bigger and bigger, because nobody would haul it away. The limbs were too big to be gobbled up by garbage trucks. And Biloxi's debris removal contract with FEMA expired.

"I'd love to have a chainsaw party," so somebody could use the dead tree limbs for firewood, Nix thought.

It turns out the chainsaw may not be necessary. Jerry Creel is the head of the Biloxi Community Development department.

"She's doing it herself. Then she'll need to call our public works department and see if there's some way this can be worked out," he said.

What Creel wants Biloxi property owners to understand is that the days of FEMA doing debris removal work are over. So, if contractors cut down trees, or repair hurricane damage, they're responsible for hauling off the mess.

"If it's a homeowner and they have a small pile out front, and they did the work themselves, then we can probably work that in," Creel said, "but we can't go door to door collecting all this debris that's being generated by contractors."

One of the main concerns in Biloxi is that the debris will block drainage ditches, and cause future flood problems. That, of course, is something the city is desperately trying to avoid.

And the concern is not just with tree limbs. Biloxi leaders remind you that grass clippings are not allowed to be blown onto the city street.