Even though last Monday's derecho here in Iowa only lasted about an hour, debris clean-up in the area is going to last much, much longer. Almost every street in Cedar Rapids is covered in leaves, branches, and tree trunks, which means we have weeks and weeks of recovery ahead of us. The big question I've been hearing from people in Eastern Iowa is: what the heck do I do with all of this tree debris? We have some answers.

According to the Storm Response Update sent out by the city of Cedar Rapids yesterday, the city has started the process of removing tree debris from neighborhoods, but it will take weeks to complete. An article from the Cedar Rapids Gazette says to "stack debris either between the street and sidewalk, or behind the curb or sidewalk in separate, distinct piles. Debris should not be mixed with glass, shingles, gutters or other rubble," and that "residents should cut branches into sections no larger than 10 feet in length, if possible, and large trunks should be cut in halves or quarters until they can be easily moved."

If you'd rather not wait, you can drop off your debris at F Avenue and 1st Street NW in the former Cooper's Mill location. It's open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For unincorporated Linn County, a new Linn County Storm Response press release outlines four "organic debris removal" locations, for those who don't want to leave their debris near their drive entrance ("debris placed for removal should not block the roadway or sight lines and must be accessible by road crews. When possible, cut tree limbs into 10 feet long sections"). Those locations include:

  • Morgan Creek County Park
    • Enter from E Ave NW, Cedar Rapids
    • Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mount Vernon Secondary Road Shop
    • 788 Cedar River Road, Mount Vernon
    • Open Monday though Friday from 6 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. 
  • Whittier Secondary Road Shop
    • 721 County Home Road, Springville
    • Open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Beginning tomorrow, August 19th, Dows Farm will also be open for debris removal. The release says to enter off of Mount Vernon Road across from the Lighthouse and Edith Lucille’s. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The update notes that the sites are for "organic storm debris only (trees, brush, vegetation)," and that there will not be anyone there to help you with unloading. If you do need help with debris removal, they encourage you to hire a contracter. You can drop off your debris at those four locations for no charge.

Residents are also able to dispose of tree debris at both Solid Waste Agency locations, but the standard fees are in place. Their website says that "yard waste is accepted for $24.00 per ton, with a $5.00 minimum."

  • 1954 County Home Road, north of Marion
    • Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • 2250 A Street SW, Cedar Rapids
    • Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There is a new update from the city of Marion's website when it comes to debris removal. It reads:

"The Marion Yard Waste Drop Off Facility has moved from 195 35th Street to the 200 block of 44th Street in Marion. The Yard Waste Facility will be open for residents from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. daily. The other location on 35th Street is no longer accepting yard waste."

Marion residents may also "place all tree damage in the right of way (between the sidewalk and curb) for collections." The city notes that a collection schedule will be posted at later date.

If you'd like debris removal information on another city here in Linn County, click HERE. For details on Johnson County, click HERE.