Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Snowfall tree debris management

Recent snowfall has caused damage to many trees throughout the city, leaving tree debris on both private property and City property.

All three City landfills – Spyhill, Shepard and East Calgary – are accepting tree debris from the snowstorm at no charge until further notice. Customers arriving at the scalehouse should identify that they are bringing tree debris and must not mix the debris with any other waste material for it to be accepted free of charge.

Beginning Saturday, September 13, citizens can also access all 33 of The City's leaf and pumpkin drop-off locations to dispose of damaged tree limbs.

Alternatively, tree debris can be cut into 4-foot pieces in length and stacked beside waste and recycling carts to be picked up with regular collection or at a later date, depending on our resources.

To help keep regular garbage and recycling pickup on schedule, and to avoid damaging City equipment, we ask that Calgarians do not put tree debris in their blue, black or green carts.

Calgarians may notice a disruption with City services such as power outages in City facilities and delayed garbage and recycling collection due to tree debris blocking back lanes. We thank Calgarians for their patience as City crews work to manage all effects of the recent snowfall.

Please be safe as many drooping tree limbs still pose a safety threat. We continue to work on a debris management plan and will communicate with Calgarians later today how we will be proceeding. At this time, we are still focused on emergency response to fallen tree debris on roads and impacts from power outages throughout the city. Safety is our current priority.

78 comments:

  1. Setup central drop off / chipping locations> use the same areas reserved for fall cleanup / pumpkins.OR Schedule rotating portable chipper / tree drop off at schools on weekends

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    1. Thank you for your suggestions. We are continuing to develop our debris management plan and will post updated information as it becomes available.

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    2. What about debris left beside the bins? Is that destined for landfill?

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    3. Tree debris that is cut into lengths no more than four feet long and stacked neatly close to where regular cart pick-up takes place will be sent to designated areas of the landfill sites for mulching.

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    4. If material from elm trees are stored and mulched, are there any potential problems with elm bark beetles or Dutch elm disease?

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    5. You need to set up central drop off locations at a MINIMUM. These should be the fall drop off sites. A lot of people do not have the means or the knowledge to deal with cutting up the trees on their property. A neighbour might be convinced to haul branches to a drop off site (numerous trips mean the sites need to be close by and then take the chippers to the sites), but would be hard pressed to make numerous trips to the dump. Please implement the drop off sites.

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    6. well we got turned away from our drop off. Why would they say all 33 are open and then be turned away?

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    7. Some leaf & pumpkin drop-off locations are filling up faster than others. We are sending trucks to those areas more frequently to pick-up debris and bring it to landfills so residents in the area can continue using all 33 locations. Thank you for your patience while we manage this process.

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  2. Much better idea than filling landfill

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    1. All loads identified as tree debris when being dropped at City landfills will be stored in designated areas of the sites for future mulching.

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    2. Please keep us informed. A set up like the floods of 2014 would be welcomed by many of those hit hard by this storm. I believe that even cutting them into 4 foot lengths is a lot to ask for residents. Some of these pieces are 15 feet in length.I have at least 6 loads to be disposed of. Let alone my elderly neighbours that I will be helping. Even though free dumps are welcomed it is not feasable for most. Hopefully we will here soon, as the true winter is not far off.

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    3. Glad to read the tree debris will be mulched.

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    4. Will the tree debris picked by garbage bins also be mulched?

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    5. Hi Pascale. Yes - tree debris that is cut into lengths no more than four feet long and stacked neatly close to where regular cart pick-up takes place will be sent to designated areas of the landfill sites for mulching.

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    6. I have a HUGE pile of branches that I have cut into manegable lenghts (4 ft) I have stacked it on the grass right in front of my sidewalk, I did not put it on the street where my bins would go as it would impede foot and car traffic, will the city pick up even if it is on my grass and not the street? Its literally 3 feet from the curb. Thanks for your reply.

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    7. That's perfect. We're asking for all tree debris to be stacked near the edge of your property without impeding roads, pedestrians or other traffic.

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    8. Hi, city did not pick up branches stacked on the grass on my alllotted garbage day (Thursday), is there another schedule they are going by? Thanks for your time.

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    9. The City is still focused on public safety at this point and will add resources to clean-up efforts once all identified hazards have been removed. The equipment needed to pick up tree debris is different from the regular blue and black cart equipment. Therefore, the quickest way to help clean-up is to bring tree debris to one of our City landfills or drop-off locations. It will take some time, but we will come to collect residential tree debris after tree emergencies have been attended to. Thank you for your patience.

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  3. Cutting tree debris in 4 foot sections and leaving beside carts makes some sense but I have enough limbs down to fill an entire truck. Don't have a truck to haul it to the landfill. Any chance the city could arrange to pick up such loads on an as-needed basis? Would certainly be willing to pay for this service.

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    1. Perhaps phone a Dump Service Company but know that there are no fees to dump the debris. You should only be paying for the ride.

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  4. Co-ordinate with local tree companies and develop a plant to work together to get the city cleaned up

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  5. Will the City be picking up debris from City-owned trees?

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    1. Yes. City crews are currently out collecting tree debris from City-owned trees. Please be safe and patient as our cleanup efforts are underway.

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  6. City of Calgary please prioritise of clearing of sidewalks. Many of the trees appear to be city owned. These are extreme hazard as pedestrians walk out onto roadways to get around them. The logistics piece as well, please meet on that again as there needs to be a system to remove the debris.

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  7. I also second central tree and branch drop offs in various quadrants of the city, such as leaf drops. Will the landfill have extended hours for those who can not access it during business hours? Just too much to place next to the black bin. Plus no room to park!

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    1. ^ Come on COC, step it up & open up leaf/pumpkin drop off areas!

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    2. Absolutely must be done!

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    3. Agreed!!! The City did a great job helping out with the flood. There are more homes directly affected by this than during the flood-- step up your efforts so we have central drop offs (not landfill--too far, and too many trips) and can rally with our neighbours!

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    4. Just read the announcement that the leaf/pumpkin drop off zones will be accepting branches starting this Sat. THANK YOU COC!

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  8. We have alley garbage pickup, but we have huge amounts of tree branches in our front yard. Do we have to cut and drag through our yard to the alley? Can't the city pick them up from the street. That's a lot of work for older residents or a significant bill to get someone to move/ haul it. We could manage the cutting and stacking in the front yard. Please advise

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    1. Yes. We will pick up tree debris that is stacked near the front or back edge of your property without impeding roadways or pathways. Thank you for helping us pick up, pitch in and pull together!

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  9. If a tree falls from one property onto another property who has the responsibility to clear the debris?

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    1. This type of situation needs to be managed between the two property owners. Please be safe while managing damaged trees and fallen tree debris.

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  10. Will city crews be clearing the alleys? Ours has yellow tape across the end also.

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    1. Most lanes that were blocked by downed branches last week should now be cleared and regular collection of blue, black and green carts will resume today. Thank you for your patience through our cleanup efforts and please remember not to put tree debris in your blue or black carts.

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  11. if a neighbor's tree broke and the branches fell in our yard, who is responsible for removing the debris?

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  12. Is there any form of assistance for home owners who don't own chainsaws, and cannot afford to pay the expense of an aborist?

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    1. Second that. There is a very large part of my neighbors tree fallen onto my yard. He does not have a chainsaw. Is it his responsibility to organize an arborist?

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    2. We have several resources in place to help property owners with cleanup. Check to see if your area has a community cleanup scheduled, seniors can request assistance from our City Links program, we will also collect neatly stacked tree debris from the edge of your property if you cannot make it to one of our City landfills or 33 drop-off locations. The cleanup will take some time. We appreciate your patience as we work together to pick up, pitch in and pull together. Find detailed info on www.calgary.ca

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  13. what about broken but not fallen tree branches close to walk way?

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  14. What does "stacked neatly close to where regular cart pick-up takes place" means. Do I need to put tape or thread around the debris or just pile these in one place. What about the small brunches and leaves attached to bigger branches, break these up and "stack". What happens if these are not picked up tomorrow which is the collection day for my area (street pickup). Do I leave this or move and try again in a week. You could be more precise on these details here, official news and the 311 system.

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    1. No need to put tape or thread around the tree debris. So long as the 4-foot lengths are not impeding traffic, we will be able to manage the collection. They can be placed near the front or back edge of your property. Thank you for helping us pick up, pitch in and pull together!

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  15. Again, tons of tree debris in the front yard. Sawing and taking it to the street will take me about 3 hours. Taking it to the back will take about a day. Is there a front pick up option?

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    1. No need to bring the tree debris around to the back. The 4-foot lengths can be placed near the front or back edge of your property, so long as they are not impeding traffic. Thank you for helping us pick up, pitch in and pull together!

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  16. Please do the logical thing and open up the Leaf Drop Off/Christmas Tree Drop Off sites for all these fallen branches.

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  17. We have large broken branches approx. 10 meters up on city trees dangling over sidewalk and street. These pose hazard as is but if a wind comes up, even more so. What is time frame to have city address this? Already phoned in to 311 a few days ago.
    Information is confusing. If debris is from city trees on property frontage, I'm assuming that city will pick this up on the curb eventually?

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    1. Hi Curtis. Thank you for reporting the damaged tree limb that is impeding traffic ways. This will be prioritized as a tree emergency and crews will get there as soon as possible.

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  18. someone came by this morning to trim up branches that were over the sidewalk but did not take off the big broken branch hanging from the tree. He left orange ribbons tied to the tree. What does that mean?

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    1. Crews are leaving cautionary tape around hazardous areas that they cannot cleanup entirely at the moment. Please stay away from these areas as they pose a danger. Thank you for your patience as we work to address tree emergencies throughout the city.

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  19. I just watched 3 city employees drive up in front of my house, examine, and then pick up some branches from my (city- owned ) elm that were at the edge of the road. They then placed them on my neighbours front lawn and drove away!!

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    1. City crews are coordinating clean-up resources: Some remove small debris, do minorn clean-up and plan an appropriate response. Other crews use specialized equipment & skills for large stuff. Thank you.

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    2. This was small stuff (less than 6 feet long) and they had the rake out and the truck to take it away....both my neighbor and I were astounded! Wish I had videotaped the whole thing,

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  20. We have branches from a city tree on our property that fell on the street and the front of our yard. They currently are in the road. It is not clear from the information if we can eventually expect the city to come and clear this away? We have no means to cut up these rather large branches? Do we need to call anyone..we are in Capitol Hill area

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    1. Hi there, please fill out this form to create a Service Request and we will assess the situation. Thank you! https://311online.calgary.ca/pdcsrweb/ServiceRequest.mvc/SRIntakeStep2/CNSSSSHM?guid=7cc760b01dbd4bcc8b969bcf05793395&srID=

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  21. What do we do with trees that have fallen in a townhouse complex that only has community garbage bin pickup?

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    1. Hi there, ideally your condo association can call a contractor to take the tree debris directly to an infill. Thank you.

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  22. Will tree debris stacked near the garbage carts be picked up on the regular collection days, and if not, when will they be picked up?

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    1. The equipment needed to pick up tree debris is different from the regular blue and black cart equipment. If you cannot make it to one of our City landfills or drop-off locations, please leave the tree debris near the edge of your property without impeding roadways or pathways. It will take some time, but we will come to collect tree debris after tree emergencies have been attended to. Thank you for your patience.

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  23. Here in Canyon Meadows (older community & mature trees) we have been hit hard with broken trees and tree branches throughout the community. In front of our house alone the pile of broken branches & leaves is huge (30 ft long x 5 ft high). I cannot imagine that regular garbage disposal will be able to handle the volume of branches in the vicinity. Wood chippers need to visit our community, there's no doubt given the magnitude of debris. Please consider this as part of the City clean-up plan; your help would be most appreciated.

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    1. Thank you for letting us know about the large volume of tree debris in Canyon Meadows. We are currently focusing our efforts on tree emergencies and will ramp up clean-up efforts immediately after. We thank everyone that is able to help pick up, pitch in and pull together!

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  24. Hello I woul like to say the I think that the city is doing an AWESOME job cleaning up our city. Keep up the great job.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words. It's greatly appreciated!

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  25. Can you please clarify if the City will be assisting home owners with picking up tree debris, even if there are LARGE quantities? We have neatly piled the branches up on our driveway as there is too much to leave on the road (where our garbage bins are picked up). 311 suggested it would be safer on our driveway given the massive amount. Just want to make sure we're doing it right for our hard-working City crews and not creating problems for them & their aching muscles! Stay strong, your efforts are recognized with gratitude - Heartfelt THANKS!

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    1. Sounds like you've already put in a lot of effort to help us pick up, pitch in and pull together - thank you! If you are unable to bring the tree debris to a City landfill or leaf & pumpkin drop-off location, we ask that you stack it in 4-foot lengths near the edge of your property (front or back) without impeding traffic. We also have some community clean-ups happening this weekend in Midsun, Chinook Park/Kelvin Grove, Somerset/Bridlewood, Rocky Ridge/Royal Oak, Crossroads, Willow Ridge and Shawnessy.

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  26. Do we need to register our home's address with 311 to get assistance from the City in respects to a huge pile of tree debris (from the snow storm, of course)? It is neatly stacked in front of our house. Simply be patient, I guess? But I'm a bit worried as we're supposed to start some home renovations in the coming weeks. The pile of branches is located right where the renovation dumpster will be; there's no other safe location available. Sorry to be such a pain, just need to have a plan & a back-up alternative in place. Any suggestions to expedite the process of pick-up? Or, do you know which communities your staff is headed to (timeline)? Thank-you!

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    1. No need to contact 311 for tree debris pickup from your property. We're aware that many areas of the city require tree debris removal; however, City crews are still focusing their efforts on tree emergencies. Three City landfills and 33 leaf & pumpkin drop-off locations are all accepting tree debris free of charge.

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  27. Obviously it will take time for the City to pick up debris that is neatly stacked on my driveway. Is there any kind of time line for the Bridlewood area. As they did not touch any bodies today, which is regular garbage day?

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    1. The City is still focused on public safety at this point and will switch efforts over to clean-up once all identified hazards have been removed. The equipment needed to pick up tree debris is different from the regular blue and black cart equipment. Therefore, the quickest way to help clean-up is to bring tree debris to one of our City landfills or drop-off locations. It will take some time, but we will come to collect residential tree debris after tree emergencies have been attended to. Thank you for your patience.

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  28. It seems to me the city has a huge labour force in the form of calgary fire dept that could help cut trees.They have the equipment and the man power .Are they not helping the community

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  29. I just got turned away from the Shawnessy drop off location> The guy there said they are not taking any more and yet the Calgary web-site says to take it there. What kind of BS is going on?????
    Or do we have to take it to city hall and put it on the front steps cause you are to cheap to do a simple web site update!!!!!!

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    1. For safety reasons, we are redirecting traffic from Shawnessy temporarily until we get heavy equipment to the site to clear out the tree debris, then it will reopen. We encourage everyone – especially commercial haulers – to take their debris directly to one of the City landfills. Lineups have not been long and we will bypass loads of tree debris past the scale if necessary.

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  30. My neighbors have been piling up tree debris in a local dog park where there was damage from the snow fall. Is this acceptable?

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    1. If tree debris from private properties cannot be brought to a City landfill or drop-off location, we ask that it be stacked near the edge of the property (front or back) for collection. Find a list of priority communities here: http://www.calgary.ca/General/Pages/September-Snow-Event.aspx

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  31. My damaged trees were cut and stacked along the sidewalk beside my house. Someone, I assume from the city, moved the entire pile to an area along my back fence backing onto a community field. Will this pile be removed at a later date?

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    1. Stacking tree debris along the sidewalk can be a safety hazard. Some City crews are out removing hazards, while others are equipped to load the debris into trucks for clean-up. You can find a list of communities that clean-up crews will be working in next here: http://www.calgary.ca/General/Pages/September-Snow-Event.aspx

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  32. Are the leaf and branch drop off areas still open for storm damaged branches? We are just, now, finishing of the pruning of broken branches from the snow damage to our garden.

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