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Palm Springs evaluates storm cleanup hurdles: sand disposal and delayed services

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Hilary, Palm Springs officials are assessing the storm's impacts on trash collection and disposal services. From sandbag disposal challenges to street blockages caused by sand dumping, the city is determined to learn valuable lessons for the next storm.

The storm brought heavy rainfall, prompting the distribution of 75,000 sandbags and 712 tons of sand across the city to prevent flooding. Now, the question is: where will all that sand go?

Lindsey-Paige McCloy, Director of Sustainability for Palm Springs, emphasized the importance of returning the sand to the desert, as long as it isn't heavily contaminated with hazardous substances. "Traditional runoff is totally fine," McCloy said, urging residents not to dispose of sand in their wastebins, which could overburden disposal staff.

McCloy further expressed concerns about sand being dumped in the streets, creating difficulties for street crews tasked with cleanup.

"When we see sand dumped in that high amount, then it becomes a bit of an issue. It's blocking streets and making it difficult for our street crews to sweep up," she said.

The storm's impacts didn't stop at sand disposal. Trash and recycling pickup by Palm Springs Disposal Services experienced a one-day delay due to road damage near the waste transfer facility atop Edom Hill.

"The roads leading to the facility was washed out, like many roads in the north end of Cathedral City. But they were able to reopen that very quickly," McCloy said.

To address these challenges and prepare for future storms, Palm Springs' Sustainability Subcommittee on Waste and Recycling convened a meeting. The committee aims to find ways to improve the city's response to extreme flooding in the valley.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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