MANVILLE — Somerset County's engineer said that residents in Manville upset that the waterlogged debris from Ida they've cleaned out of their homes has not yet been picked up can rest assured it will all be taken away but just not right away.

The county has been working on garbage pickup since the Tuesday after the storm, which swamped Manville with 10 inches of rain and killed 30 people in the state. The county transfer station in Bridgewater reached capacity three days later.

"Somerset County is committed to pickup up all this debris in Manville and all of our affected communities and it is a challenging process. People are still digging out their homes right now and bringing debris out,"  County Engineer for Somerset County Matt Loper told New Jersey 101.5.

Loper said that once Bridgewater reached capacity garbage was taken to a DEP approved temporary facility in Hillsborough where waste had to be checked before going to a landfill. The problem is a lack of space and DEP rules about not having food product mixed in with the garbage. Loper said residents don't have to reopen bags and look for it themselves.

"If any bag was open and we could see what was inside of it to determine it wasn't food waste we would pick it up," Loper said. A simple slice of an already tied up bag will work.

Otherwise, residents will have to wait for a second round of pickups at a date to be determined for their bags to be taken away.

"We are going to pick up everything whether it's on the first run or the second run to pick up any additional items," Loper said. "We appreciate their patience."

Some suggestions from the county for debris pickup:

  • Do not use opaque or black bags
  • If you have already used such bags, please open or tear to show the contents
  • Such bags will be assumed to have food waste or other issues and will not be taken on the first pass
  • Sealed opaque or black bags that are not opened or torn will be picked up at a later time

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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