Hurricane Ian: What to do with sandbags now that the storm has passed?

Now that Hurricane Ian has passed through the state and clean-up has begun, many people have unwanted sandbags they want to offload, but are encouraged not to toss the bags in the trash.

Bay Area counties are asking residents with sandbags that have not come in contact with floodwaters to save the bags for future storms. Unwanted sand may be scattered along your yard.  

Sandbags that came in contact with floodwaters may be contaminated with bacteria and county leaders say it is not safe to use that sand in a child’s sandbox. 

Link: FOX donates $1M to American Red Cross for Hurricane Ian relief efforts; how you can help too

Pinellas County Environmental Management advises residents to not dump their sandbags onto the beach. Sand used to help stop flooding may be different from beach sand and can cause issues for turtle nesting, among other problems.

READ: NHC warns of record river flooding in Tampa Bay area as residents begin cleanup from Hurricane Ian damage

Residents are asked not to dispose of any sand or full sandbags in the regular trash. 

Also, it is important not to mix sandbags with yard debris. The sand is abrasive and damages equipment used to grind yard debris into mulch.

The following Bay Area counties have posted details on what to do with the unwanted sandbags: 

Hillsborough County

  • Unwanted sandbags can be dropped off at any of the county’s solid waste facilities. Click here for a list of locations.

Pinellas County

  • Residents may bring used sandbags, separated from other waste to the Pinellas County Solid Waste complex located at 3095 114th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Disposal fees apply.

Pasco County

Residents can dispose of sandbags at

  • Magnolia Valley Golf Course, 7223 Massachusettes Ave., New Port Richey
  • Wesley Chapel District Park, 7727 Boyette Road, Wesley Chapel

Manatee County

  • Sandbags can be placed at the curb alongside your regular trash bin for regular garbage collection.