Cape Coral is replacing trash cans lost or damaged from Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Hurricane Ian threw thousands of trash cans into canals, vacant lots, and people’s backyards, but six months after the storm, the City of Cape Coral is replacing them.

The goal is to get them to homeowners by the end of April.

Replacement garbage totes are finally making their way to Cape Coral.

“Today’s the day that they started putting together the first delivery of recycled totes, to get them out to the public for those that have lost them during Ian and had reported them,” Terry Schweitzer, the Cape Coral solid waste manager, said.

People in Cape Coral reported nearly 10,000 totes missing. The city needed five months to get a final count on how many needed to be replaced.

“In the meantime, Waste Pro was picking up the garbage in plastic bags, personal containers. So once we got the tote purchase approved, which is roughly just under $700,000 to purchase them and deliver them we made the order,” Schweitzer said.

Cost was a factor in getting the new totes because Cape Coral asked FEMA for financial help. Once crews finish putting them together, delivery will happen on everyone’s typical collection day.

“Today marks a point where we can get back to that uniform look that’s clean, and really is safer for the residents, you know, the wheel at the bottom of these helps them move larger bags of garbage to the street and boxes,” Michael Ilczyszyn, the interim city manager for Cape Coral said.

Ilczyszyn said he’s grateful to see the progress made each day.

“This storm was Florida’s most costliest storm, third most costliest storm recorded, and there’s just many moving parts,” Ilczyszyn said. “And so to see us finally, getting to a point where we can deliver these carts to the residents is great.”

Cape Coral expects it will take 12 to 18 days to get the new trash totes distributed once crews finish assembling them.

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