Storm’s gone. Now, what should I do with all these sandbags?

Published: Jul. 16, 2019 at 10:20 AM CDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Most folks who live along South Mississippi's rivers and flood-prone areas know the drill of how to prepare for tropical weather. Just last week, more than 15,000 free sandbags were given away in Harrison County alone.

But if you’re new to the sandbag routine, the experts have some advice on what to do with them now that the weather is back to normal.

1. Save your sandbags! Clean sandbags can be stored and reused. Full sandbags should be stored in a covered location off the ground, where they can dry out and be reused for later in the season. Allowing the sandbags to dry will help prevent mold. You’ll be so glad you did this when the next storm comes. (And there’s always another storm.)

2. Throw out the dirty sandbags, but do it the right way. Sandbags and sand contaminated with oils and other pollutants should be disposed of at an appropriate landfill. As they may contain bacteria and contaminants, care should be taken to wear appropriate protective gloves, eye protection, and clothing. Anyone handling contaminated sandbags should wash their hands with soap and water when they are done working.

3. You can use the sand, but not for your kid’s sandbox. Clean sand from torn sandbags can be repurposed, sort of. A good use might be to fill a hole in your yard, or for other landscaping purposes. But this sand shouldn’t be used for anything involving human contact (i.e. playgrounds or sandboxes).

For more information or for assistance with questions, contact the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Waste Division staff at 601-961-5304 or online at

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