Preparing your trees and yard

Are you ready? The Solid Waste Authority (SWA) has prepared the following list to help you get ready for hurricane season.

Pre-Hurricane Season Maintenance

* All major cutting of vegetation (i.e., tree removal) should be completed by June 1st, the beginning of hurricane season.
* Cut back all trees and weak branches that could contact buildings.
* Thin your foliage so wind can flow freely through branches, decreasing the chance that trees/plants will be uprooted. Place tree trimmings at the curb on your regular scheduled collection day and follow he 6/50 rule (i.e., each piece cannot exceed 50 lbs. in weight or 6 feet in length).
* Containerize small pieces of vegetation such as pine needles, leaves twigs, etc., in bags or cans that weigh less than 50 lbs. when full and place at the curb on your scheduled day.
* Clean your yard of any items that could become missiles in a storm such as old lumber, broken lawn furniture, etc., and place curbside on your bulk waste collection day

Once a Storm Has Formed and is Being Tracked

* Do not cut down trees or do major yard work.
* Do not begin construction projects that produce debris.
* Once a watch or warning has been issued do not trim vegetation of any kind.
* Mass cutting places a tremendous burden on the normal collection process and there is not enough equipment or manpower to collect the additional material before the storm makes landfall.
* Do not take materials to the curb, transfer stations or landfill during a watch or warning period. Service may be suspended and facilities closed early to prepare for the storm.

After the Storm Has Passed

* Please be patient.
* Keep household garbage, recycling and vegetative and/or construction storm debris in separate piles.
* SWA's number one priority is the collection of household garbage.
* Secure containerize all household garbage in plastic bags or cans to be placed curbside on your scheduled day.
* Don't place any debris near or on a fence, mailbox, powerline equipment, poles, transformers, downed electrical wiring, water meters or storm drains.
Chainsaws can help, but they can also hurt!
The most important rule for chain saw safety is this: If you've never used one before, the morning after the hurricane is not the time to teach yourself. Serious injury or death can result. The off-season is a good time to learn.

About 40,000 chain saw accidents and deaths happen every year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.
If you don't know what you're doing, leave this work to the professionals. If you are experienced with a chainsaw, remember these safety tips:

* Review the owner's manual before you start work.
* Wear a hard hat and ear and eye protection. Wear close-fitting long pants (preferably with protective chaps), gloves and steel-toed work boots. No bare feet, sandals or slippery shoes.
* Never work alone. Always have a helper. Keep children and pets away. Don't work when you're tired.
* Beware of broken or hanging branches, attached vines or a dead tree that is leaning. All can be hazardous to the saw operator.
* Use a chain saw at ground level only, not on a ladder or in a tree. Do not hold the saw higher than your waist.
* A dull saw is a dangerous saw. It should be sharpened and should have a clean air filter, a good spark plug, and an effective muffler.
* Stand on the uphill side when cutting, because a tree may roll. A downed tree can weigh several tons.
* When removing limbs from a fallen tree, wedge or block the trunk in place so the tree won't roll or move as you work.
* Never stand on a log and saw between your feet. Stand to one side of the limb you are cutting; never straddle it.
* Trim limbs from a fallen trunk while standing opposite the trunk.

RELATED INFORMATION:

Solid Waste Authority
Customer Information Services
(561) 697-2700 local
1-866 792-4636 toll free

http://www.swa.org

Visit their website for online updates on your collection services.