Friday, June 13, 2014

Remembering the 2013 June flood; response, recovery and the road ahead - Waste & Recycling Services

In the days and weeks following the flood of June 2013, employees across Waste & Recycling Services (WRS) were hands on in helping flood victims with the enormous clean-up effort.

Collectors and trucks were redeployed to roam the flood-affected communities from early morning until late in the evening to clear away the mountains of water-soaked drywall, wood, carpeting and other waste piled high on residents’ lawns and in their back lanes. Throughout the day and evening at the height of the clean-up, WRS commercial drivers serviced the bins at the community support centres and other sites. Often the bins would fill up within moments of delivery as residents and volunteers emptied flood-damaged homes. Landfill staff kept The City’s three facilities open extended hours every day to serve the steady flow of residents and commercial haulers bringing flood debris. Disposal fees for flood-related waste were waived for two months after the flood. Even WRS office employees were sent to the community support centres to assist citizens and provide information.

The City’s three landfills received over 100,000 tonnes of flood waste alone in just a matter of weeks. That’s close to 20 per cent of the total waste usually received in an entire year. The sites also received more than 2000 damaged fridges and freezers in the two months after the flood.

From providing heavy equipment to help Zoo staff move endangered animals away from the rising water to providing hugs to heartbroken citizens as they tossed precious family photos, mementoes and even a ruined wedding dress into the landfill, WRS employees were out there helping Calgarians recover and heal.

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