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Mexico Beach Gets Creative With Hurricane Debris

Upside down semi-truck on canal bank
Robbie Gaffney

Mexico Beach leaders are finding creative ways to recycle debris left behind by Hurricane Michael. 

Appliances left by the roadside, like refrigerators and washing machines are scrapped and sold. The city keeps the money, now around 20,000 dollars. Whatever can’t be sold, will be re-used.

“Vegetation, trees, limbs. Our debris hauler mulches that and the city gets as much as the mulch as we need to replace in our parks and public spaces and then the remainder gets hauled to the West Rock paper mill and they use it for boiler fuel,” says City Administrator, Tanya Castro.

“Concrete is crushed into rock. The city again gets as much as that as we need we can use it for road base, walkways, whatever we want to use it for and then what we don’t need is sold and those proceeds come back to the city,” says Castro.

Mexico Beach has so far gathered 1 million cubic yards. That’s about 71,000 dump trucks full of debris.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.