Disaster Debris Removal After Hurricane Katrina: Status and Associated Issues [June 16, 2006] [open pdf - 98KB]
"Hurricane Katrina produced unprecedented destruction, resulting in disaster debris from vegetation and man-made structures. Before Katrina, the event that left behind the greatest recorded amount of disaster-related debris in the United States was Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which generated 43 million cubic yards (CY) of debris in Florida's Metro-Dade County. Disaster debris generated as a result of Hurricane Katrina may be over 100 million CY. Before the Gulf Coast region can rebuild, particularly in the New Orleans metropolitan area, much debris generated by the storm must be removed and properly managed (i.e., landfilled, recycled, or burned). The types of debris generated include vegetative debris (e.g., trees, limbs, shrubs), municipal solid waste (e.g., common household garbage and personal belongings), construction and demolition debris (in some instances, entire residential structures and all their contents), vehicles (e.g., cars, trucks, and boats), food waste (technically termed 'putrescibles'), white goods (e.g., refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners), and household hazardous waste (e.g., cleaning agents, pesticides, pool chemicals). Each type of waste may contain or be contaminated with certain toxic or hazardous constituents. In the short term, removal of debris is necessary to facilitate the recovery of the region. In the long term, the methods in which these wastes are to be managed require proper consideration to ensure that their management (e.g., landfilling) would not pose a future threat to human health or the environment."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33477
Open CRS: http://www.opencrs.com/