Home News and Features Trash Removal Finally Started in Montpelier; Already Well Under Way in Barre City

Trash Removal Finally Started in Montpelier; Already Well Under Way in Barre City

Four people watch as man in white hard hat and yellow vest supervises huge boom claw picking up flood debris in the street.
Residents watch as crews from Ceres Environmental remove flood debris from in front Elm Street homes. Photo by John Lazenby.
The mounting piles of trash, debris, and construction materials that have been dominating the streets of downtown Montpelier will be gone soon. A state contracted disaster response company removed residential debris from Elm Street yesterday and is working on Main Street this morning, Thursday, July 20.

The piles represent the ruins of flooded out basements and storefronts and have been mounting in Montpelier since the biggest flood since 1927 decimated downtown last week. 

Ceres Environmental of Sarasota, Florida showed up Wednesday afternoon July 19, with its first pass at debris removal starting with residences on Elm Street.

The Double Barrel Knuckle-Boom

Using “double barrel knuckle-boom” high-capacity debris-hauling trucks, the company used two 150-yard trucks and said two more will be in use by Friday. The trucks feature both a truck bed and a trailer, plus a crane and claw that can self-load the trucks.

Likening a cubic yard to the size of a washing machine, one of the truck operators said “one truck and trailer can handle roughly 150 washing machines. … at least four of these will be running by Friday.” 

Numa Haase sits on the roof of his flood-damaged car Wednesday afternoon, July 19, as flood debris is lifted from the front yard of his house on Elm Street in Montpelier. His was the first debris to be removed. Photo by John Lazenby.
The operator also cautioned people to stay at least 100 feet away from debris removal operations in order to stay safe.

Materials are going to the Coventry landfill — for now. The operator, who asked not to be named, said that Ceres is considering “alternatives” to Coventry for disposal but declined to state what those alternatives might be, although he did state that out-of-state landfills are not currently being considered. 

Getting rid of the mountains of flood-ruined materials piled up along all of the downtown streets could take several weeks, according to an announcement from the city of Montpelier. City communications coordinator Evelyn Prim said the Department of Public Works will be sending out daily briefings announcing the location and schedule of that day’s debris removal.

To sign up for DPW updates, go to montpelier-vt.org/list.aspx. 

Barre City 

In Barre City, the scene is different. Many of the streets have already been cleared of materials, and the city of Barre has allocated “significant resources” to debris collection and removal, according to its website.

The City of Barre has been using local contractors, such as All Clean, which has invoiced the city for approximately $18,000 for removing 27.78 tons of trash in one and a half days.

Barre City Manager Nicolas Storellicastro said he doesn’t yet have an estimate for the total volume of materials and debris removed, which would include the mud the city’s own crews have taken out early in the clean up process.

“We have three other vendors providing trash removal or dumpsters, I don’t have invoices or amounts for them yet, and we are going to jump on the state contract as well to add additional capacity for debris hauling,” Storellicastro said.

“We have cleared a lot of the big debris from downtown, but there is still a long way to go,” Storellicastro added. “There also is still a lot of dust and mud that we need to take care of in the core downtown that has been a challenge to remove.”

The Ceres Environmental “double barrel knuckle-boom” at work picking up flood related debris on Elm Street in Montpelier. Photo by John Lazenby.

Stories about Flooding