City Guidelines for Storm Debris Removal on Private Property

This information is from the City of Austin’s Winter Weather Morning Status Update, Feb. 6, and it describes how to get your limbs ready for pick up. You can read the entire update at this link:

“Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) crews are resuming regular curbside trash, recycling, and composting service starting Monday, Feb. 6. Residents should set their carts out on their regular collection day. Typically, ARR will collect the contents of your green cart and up to 15 extra items placed beside the cart but item limits will be temporarily waived for storm debris collection.

Additionally, ARR crews and personnel from three external contractors are expediting the collection of storm debris materials. Because the damage is widespread throughout the City, storm debris collections will take some time.

Request a collection of downed tree limbs due to the storm by contacting Austin 3-1-1 via its mobile apponline request form or calling 3-1-1 (512-974-2000). Please have the limbs at the curb ready for collection at no charge to the customer. Debris should be cut and assembled using the following guidelines:

  • Branches and limbs should be between 5 and 15 feet in length. Branches and limbs longer than 15 feet should be cut down.
  • Tree trunks thicker than 8 inches in diameter should be cut down to 3 feet long or less. 
  • Stack loosely along the curb in one row, not more than 15 feet across and no higher than 4 feet, with cut ends facing the street.
  • Please don’t block the sidewalk or extend into the street.* 
  • To prevent damage to your property, keep items 5 feet away from your trash cart, mailbox, fences or walls, water meter, telephone connection box and parked cars. Do not place any items under low-hanging tree limbs or power lines.

The public is encouraged to follow the guidelines as closely as possible. Our crews are working to get Austin back to normal as quickly as possible. Here’s how you can help us speed up the process and keep our workers safe:

  • Follow set-out guidelines as closely as you can. We realize there may be space limitations, but large storm debris is collected with a crane. The guidelines make it possible for us to collect the material with that equipment.
  • Clear unnecessary items out of the roadways. Please remove things like basketball hoops and parked cars out of the roadway when possible to allow our trucks to pass through and collect the debris at the curb.
  • Slow down to get around. As always, we’re asking Austin drivers to yield when approaching City vehicles and to be alert to potential field employees working on the street. Please drive slowly when going around these vehicles and always remember to, ‘slow down to get around’ to keep our workers safe.

Austin Water will accept brush for drop-off at its Hornsby Bend Biosolids Treatment Plant on 2210 S FM 973 during regular business hours, Monday–Saturday. The material will be composted and made into Dillo Dirt. Learn more at:

Residents with physical limitations or financial needs requiring help cleaning up winter storm debris can request volunteer assistance through the Austin Disaster Relief Network.”

*If someone can explain to me how to stack a 10 or 15’ limb with cut ends to the curb without blocking either the sidewalk or the road, please email me at

Sharon Justice, Chair, NSCNA Media Committee

City Guidelines for Storm Debris Removal on Private Property
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