Curbside debris collection will begin Monday for Russian River communities affected by recent storms and flooding, Sonoma County officials said.
Residents should put flood debris at the curb in three separate piles, including appliances, metals, and other recyclables; household hazardous waste; and other debris.
Pick-up by local waste haulers will take place Monday through Friday, with a final sweep for remaining items March 18 - 22.
On Tuesday, county officials declared a local health emergency due to the large amount of household hazardous waste scattered along waterways, roadsides, and accumulating on public and private properties.
At a special meeting Thursday, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to offer debris collection at no cost to residents.
"The volume of waste this flood generated is more than many residents can handle individually," said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, whose Fifth District was hardest hit by last month's storms.
Officials estimate that the curbside service will cost up to $1.5 million, and the overall debris collection effort may cost about $2.5 million.
The county provided multiple flood debris drop-off sites in Russian River communities last week, and officials estimated that more than 1,000 tons of waste have been collected at staffed sites so far. An estimated 5,000 tons of additional waste is expected to be collected as part of the new curbside program.
More information on the curbside collection service can be found on SoCoEmergency.org.