Monday, September 15, 2014

Managing tree debris: parks, homes and collection

Calgarians continue to Pick Up, Pitch In and Pull Together since the tree cleanup began last week. We’re seeing amazing community spirit as Calgarians help out their neighbours to clear away the debris from the storm while City crews respond to over 3,000 tree emergencies.

Avoid parks and pathways
We realize the weather is nice and people want to get outdoors. However, our staff have not had time to complete safety assessments of many areas. As a result, we are asking Calgarians to please avoid using parks and pathways with mature trees.

Please respect signage in parks informing Calgarians of closures, look for hazards around trees, and stay away from trees that could pose a threat to your safety.

For more information, check our list of open parks and pathways and connect with facility bookings for status on event bookings in parks.

City Links
To assist Calgary’s vulnerable population, we expanded the City Links program, which helps low income seniors with home maintenance. The program now also offers assistance with cleaning up tree debris. Since Friday we have received 392 calls for assistance, 100 of which have been received just today.

If you have a senior family member, a friend, or a neighbour with a disability, who requires additional support in the clean up process, please access this program.

Where to put tree debris
There are many options available to Calgarians for tree collection and disposal. It is recommended that citizens visit a City landfill as landfill operations are best equipped to deal with all sizes of tree debris. Citizens can also access all 33 of The City’s leaf & pumpkin drop-off locations to dispose of tree debris. As well, citizens can stack tree debris as close to the edge of their property without impeding roads, pathways or sidewalks.

  • Stack branches neatly where you normally place your black and blue carts (front roadways or in back alleys/laneways). Please note that tree debris will not be picked up at the same time as your residential garbage/recycling pick up as pick up of tree debris needs to remain ‘clean’ and will require specialized equipment.
  • Stack branches neatly and placing on your front yard or driveway, near the sidewalk but not impeding access is acceptable.
  • Stack branches neatly on a residential boulevard or median - not impeding access to adjacent roadways or sidewalks is acceptable. Please be mindful of risks associated with adjacent traffic activity if using this option. 
  • Stack branches neatly in back lanes or alleyways - not impeding access to roads or walkways is acceptable.

Ideally, stacked tree branches are no more than 4ft in length. However, the City appreciates the efforts and cooperation of citizens and the collection and stacking of branches in any of the above mentioned scenarios is appreciated. Please be patient as City crews will take some time to get around to all areas of the city. Ideally and if citizens are able, preference is for collected branches to be brought directly to the City landfills and secondly, to one of the 33 leaf & pumpkin drop-off locations.

Please do NOT bring garbage or plastic bags to the leaf and pumpkin drop-off locations. Paper bags can be composted or mulched along with the tree material.

Regular collection of blue, black and green carts will resume tomorrow. We couldn’t reach all streets and lanes last week as some were blocked by downed branches. Tree debris will not be collected as part of residential collection. Please do not put branches or other tree debris in your blue or black carts.

There is a lot of work left to be done and many City parks still pose potential hazards for the public. The incredible job of cleaning up will continue for City crews, partner agencies, and many Calgarians for some time.

Thanks to everyone for pitching in to clean up our city.

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