What to do with your sandbags after Hilary

Experts suggest keeping the bags to help with the upcoming rainy season

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More than 100,000 sandbags were distributed and used across the county during Tropical Storm Hilary, but now that San Diego is once again experiencing sunny skies, county officials are offering advice on how to dispose of the bags.

Experts at the county's Department of Public Works suggested residents keep the bags to help with the upcoming rainy season.

"You could store them filled, or empty out the clean sand and store the bags away from sunlight in a covered, above-ground location," they wrote in a county news release.


  • If the used sandbags are not contaminated with foul water, chemicals or petroleum products, rake the sand into soil, add it to planters or use it for flowerbeds as a soil amendment.
  • Place the empty bags in trash cans if you choose not to reuse them. Do not place the empty sandbags in the recycle bin.
  • If you cannot reuse the sand or sandbags at home, take them directly to a landfill. Local landfills can accept sandbags used for stormwater control during the recent storm. Do not put full sandbags in your trash cart, bins or dumpsters. They are too heavy for disposal companies to collect.
  • If you see or suspect your sandbags are contaminated with sewage, chemicals or petroleum products, handle them with protective gear, including gloves and protective eyewear. Dispose of them at select landfills or through a hazardous waste contractor. Contact the landfill facility in advance as additional handling and paperwork will be required.

Residents of cities or tribal lands should also check with their jurisdiction or trash contractor for any additional guidance.

For additional questions or more information, contact 1-877-713-2784.

Several cities are providing both sand and bags or just bags for their residents to use this weekend. NBC 7's Adonis Albright reports on Aug. 19, 2023.
Copyright CNS - City News Service
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