NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Local government

Disaster Cleanup Emergency Guidelines

Local governments should contact a N.C. Division of Waste Management solid waste section field specialist or regional office to determine what state laws and regulations may affect the management of disaster debris after a storm. For general information, visit the Division of Waste Management's Emergency/Disaster Debris Management Web site.

Any stream work requires a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and coordinated with the area DENR Division of Water Quality Regional Office.
Temporary Disaster Debris Staging Areas
Temporary disaster debris staging/storage areas are often established in order to handle the large amounts of debris generated after a storm. The DWM requires that all such temporary areas be permitted before use. The DWM strongly encourages local governments to get one or more temporary staging sites pre-approved well before a storm. Waiting for approval until after a storm can delay clean up because field staff become overloaded with requests in the aftermath. Approval of more than one site can prove advantageous because you never know exactly what areas might be impacted by a storm.

Please refer to the DWM online information on siting and permitting a temporary disaster debris staging/storage area, or call the DWM at (919) 508-8400. Other DWM contacts: Solid Waste Section: (919) 508-8497, Hazardous Waste Section: (919) 508-8534.
Debris Collection
Curbside segregation of waste materials is critical during disaster clean up. Require residents to keep yard debris, municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris separate when placed at the curb. The separation of materials may reduce the cost of managing these materials and will allow for easier recycling. Keep in mind that several items including white goods and whole scrap tires are banned from landfill disposal in North Carolina and must be managed separately from other wastes. Please refer to the legislation for an entire list of banned landfill materials.

Many county solid waste collection systems collect used motor oil, antifreeze and lead-acid batteries for recycling. Some communities also provide collection services for household hazardous waste. If your locality does not have a permanent HHW facility, a post-storm temporary facility for handling household hazardous waste can be established. Refer to the disaster clean up emergency guidelines for household hazardous waste temporary collection events, or call the DWM at (919) 508-8400.
Pre-Approved Debris Management Contracts
Pre-approved contracts for debris management, including wood grinding services and household hazardous waste management, can prove extremely valuable by helping to control cost, plan budgets, and implement clean up services in a timely manner. Requests for bids for these services can be let long before a storm hits, allowing plenty of time to adequately review contractor references, evaluate cost structure, and lock in a price for service. N.C. DPPEA’s fact sheet on contract grinding provides additional information. As with all storm debris related matters, it is a good idea to check with FEMA prior to establishing a storm debris management contract.
It is important to contact FEMA prior to implementing disaster clean-up efforts as it may affect reimbursement of storm-related expenses. Keep good documentation of waste flow and tonnage of storm-only related waste. In addition, it may be possible to find funding prior to a disaster through FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant program. The funds may be used to deconstruct or demolish homes within flood-prone areas to avoid future destruction. Contact your local emergency management office for more information about this grant program.
Other Contacts:
Pollution Prevention
North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance
1639 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1639     (919) 707-8100     (877) 623-6748      Privacy Policy /Disclaimer