Houston's floodwaters receded, now replaced by mountains of trash

PHOTO: Members of the Olson family remove debris and damaged items from their fathers home in the Twin Oaks Estate after Hurricane Harvey caused widespread flooding in Houston, Aug. 31, 2017.PlayMark RalstonAFP/Getty Images
WATCH Piles of debris line driveways following Hurricane Harvey

The floodwaters in Houston have mostly receded, but in their place stand mountains of debris.

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Survivors of the catastrophic flooding from Harvey have shown their eagerness to rebuild and reclaim their damaged homes by hauling outside an estimated 8 million cubic yards of sodden drywall, flooring, furniture, appliances, clothing and toys, according to The Associated Press.

That's enough trash to fill the Houston Texans' football stadium two times over. If the debris were being hauled out by pickup trucks, it would require more than 3 million trips.

PHOTO: Garbage is seen at the Pinewood subdivision outside Sour Lake,Texas, Sept. 6, 2017. Bob Daemmrich/Polaris
Garbage is seen at the Pinewood subdivision outside Sour Lake,Texas, Sept. 6, 2017.

The massive piles are a reminder of the emotional toll for the residents whose lives have been upended by Harvey, but they also present a challenge to the city, which has promised to remove the debris as soon as possible.

PHOTO: A garbage truck helps residents remove bags of flood-damaged items that line the streets of numerous neighborhoods in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey on the west side of Houston, Texas, U.S., Sept. 7, 2017. Mike Blake/Reuters
A garbage truck helps residents remove bags of flood-damaged items that line the streets of numerous neighborhoods in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey on the west side of Houston, Texas, U.S., Sept. 7, 2017.

The city has set out guidelines, including asking residents to separate the debris into six different piles:

- Normal household trash

- Vegetative debris including logs and tree branches

- Construction and demolition debris including furniture, drywall and building materials

- Appliances and white goods

- Electronics

- Household hazardous waste such as oils, lawn chemicals, batterieunderstand the process.

At least 136,000 homes in the Harris County flood control district, which includes Houston, were damaged by Hurricane Harvey officials said.

PHOTO: Flood-damaged contents from homes line the roads along residential streets in the aftermath of Harvey on the west side of Houston, Sept. 7, 2017. Mike Blake/Reuters
Flood-damaged contents from homes line the roads along residential streets in the aftermath of Harvey on the west side of Houston, Sept. 7, 2017.

The cleanup job is so huge that the city has called on contractors with debris equipment to help with waste removal.

PHOTO: A garage sale sign stands in a pile of debris damaged by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas, Sept. 3, 2017. David J. Phillip/AP
A garage sale sign stands in a pile of debris damaged by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas, Sept. 3, 2017.
PHOTO: Peggy Lanigan pauses during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Sept. 6, 2017. Matt Rourke/AP
Peggy Lanigan pauses during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Sept. 6, 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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