Mountains of trash grow as N.J. residents discard storm-damaged goods

As New Jersey begins its slow recovery from Hurricane Sandy, one of the big tasks is getting rid of all the debris the storm left behind.

Just as in many other coastal communities, work crews in Point Pleasant Beach are collecting piles of storm-damaged rugs, furniture, mattresses and other items residents have been forced to throw away.

There’s such a large accumulation that private contractors have been called in to help pick it up, public works superintendent John Trout said Monday.

“It’s going to be thousands and thousands of cubic yards. It is all kinds of stuff and it would be hard to put a label on exactly what it is,” Trout said. “One house had about a 70-foot section of brand new boardwalk in their front yard.”

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More than 60 temporary debris management areas have been set up in the state, according to Bob Martin, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The collected material will be stored there until it can be moved to landfills or incinerators. Martin said the debris is not an environmental hazard because things such as propane tanks and paint cans are pulled aside and stored separately.

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