Temple, Tx (FOX44) – The City of Temple is hiring some outside help to assist in the pickup and disposal of brush left over from the February ice storm.

D&J Enterprises will begin collecting the remaining curbside brush piles starting this Tuesday – with the City of Temple to pay them an estimated $400,000 to do it. They will also grind up the brush, which will be used by Waste Management as groundcover for the City’s landfill.

The City’s Solid Waste Department was working to remove the debris, and already collected an estimated 270,000 cubic yards of brush. However, it was estimated that the department was only about half-way complete in the task – and at that pace, it was estimated that it could take four months to finish.

“Our crews have been working non-stop to get this debris cleaned up. The reality is, the ice storm caused a vast amount of downed trees and debris, and it has overwhelmed our crews,” said Justin Brantley, Director of Solid Waste for the City of Temple. “We hear our community’s concerns and are excited to get this help so we can serve our residents faster and get back to the beautiful Temple we know and love.”

The contracted crew will work West to East to pick up the remaining brush beginning Tuesday, March 21. City crews will continue to collect bulk while the contractor is collecting the brush. Once the contractor is complete in all the areas of the city, regular collection for both brush and bulk will resume as scheduled by city crews.

The city noted that if a resident’s brush and bulk pile is mixed, it will not be serviced. Residents are responsible for separating those piles. Also, because crews will be working weekends and evenings, it is important not to block access to the brush piles and allow space for the heavy-duty equipment that crews will be utilizing to make those pick-ups. No additional charges will be reflected on resident’s utility bills while the city contracts services for brush collection.