Storm recovery

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Update
  • The Public Works Department staff have worked extensively to clean-up affected areas from the May 21 derecho and have concluded the special response efforts.
  • Effective September 19, 2022, most Public Works staff have returned to regular operations to prepare for winter operations.
  • The Public Works Department is focusing efforts to complete the clean-up of large storm debris from the windstorm in May by September 16. We ask that after this date, residents make use of the leaf and yard waste program, ensuring that any remaining storm debris and waste is bundled and packaged properly. Here are some things to remember:
    • Only use compostable paper yard waste bags, a garbage can or cardboard boxes when setting out leaf and yard waste for collection
    • Ensure containers and bundles are no more than 15 kg (33 lb.) in weight
    • Extra leaf and yard waste goes in the green bin
    • Branches are to be tied in bundles of less than 1.2 m (4 ft.) in length and 60 cm (2 ft.) in width
    • Individual branches should be less than 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter
    • Fruit and pumpkins can be included
    • Leave grass clippings on the lawn.
    • Leaf and yard waste will not be collected as regular garbage
    • All leaf and yard waste must be bundled using biodegradable material. Twine or string is the best option. Wire, duct tape and plastic twine will not biodegrade.
  • Late Fall and early Spring operations will prioritize remaining uprooted stump removal, as well as the grinding of intact stumps including backfilling holes and seeding.
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  • The City is committed to re-establishing the lost tree canopy by re-planting lost City trees. Residents who would like a tree replacement on the City’s right of way are encouraged to request it through the Trees in Trust program.
  • The Trees in Trust program requires coordination with the property owner for the location, tree species selection, and watering. Requests received through the Trees in Trust program will be added to next year’s planting program.

Check back on this page for updates as they become available. You can also follow these social media accounts for the latest information:

 

Waste disposal

Garbage and recycling

The City has returned to regular curbside waste collection operations.

Residents can dispose of organic waste in their green bin and storm-related brush debris in the leaf and yard waste, as part of their regular collection calendar schedule.

Household Hazardous Waste

If you need to dispose of hazardous waste like paint, motor oil, pharmaceuticals and more, please visit the Hazardous waste and special items page for the location and dates of upcoming Household Hazardous Waste events.

Leaf and yard waste

Smaller yard waste – brush and twigs from the storm – can be put in paper yard waste bags, as usual. Small branches can be bundled and tied using twine or other organic material. Individual branches should be less than 10 centimetres (4 inches) in diameter. Bundles must be less than 1.2 metres (four feet) in length and 60 centimetres (two feet) in width.

For more leaf and yard waste set-out information, visit ottawa.ca/greenbin.

Larger organic storm debris

Effective August 22, property owners are responsible to dispose of any remaining large tree debris. Waste collection operators will not return to collect branches larger than 10 centimetres (4 inches) in diameter. 

Property owners do not need a permit to remove dead or hazardous trees on their private property where the tree is an immediate threat to public health and safety or will not survive the damage sustained. Photos should be taken before removal to provide evidence of the condition of the tree should there be future inquiries.

Note: In cases where you have to remove an upturned stump, please don’t just start digging. There may be underground gas lines, electrical services, telephone and cable TV infrastructure, streetlight wiring and water and sewer connections on your property. To request locates, call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 or visit their website.

The City’s landfill site at the Trail Waste Facility, 4475 Trail Road, is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm.

Not sure what goes where?

Visit the City’s Waste Explorer to learn how to dispose of any debris, storm-related or not.

Wood and tree debris

Uprooted stumps

Public Works is planning the removal and disposal of more than 450 large, uprooted City tree stumps in the road allowance that were uprooted by the storm. Staff are working on procuring contracted services to assist with this significant undertaking and removals are expected to begin this fall.

The work to remove uprooted tree stumps may include excavation and re-instatement with topsoil and grass seed. Residents should note that if the City tree adjacent to their property was removed as a result of the storm, tree re-planting will not automatically take place. Residents who would like a tree planted on the right of way adjacent to their property can request it through the Trees in Trust program. Residents should also note that if they have requested a tree re-planting through the Trees in Trust program, that re-planting will not take place during the stump removal.

The Trees in Trust program for Fall 2022 is now full, however any requests received will be added to next years’ planting program. Staff are looking into other options to expand tree plantings in 2023, including partnership opportunities and supports for planting on private property.

Intact stumps

Public Works has identified over 2,000 intact stumps remaining after storm related tree removals, and those stumps will be addressed in 2023, from Spring to Fall. It is standard practice for Public Works to add stump removal to the following year’s stumping program after the removal of a tree on city property.

While staff generally make an effort to inform residents of the stumping timelines, given the large volume of trees removed, it is possible that not all residents were made aware. Residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 if they have questions about the status of their stump removal. The process for removal of an intact stump involves getting utility locates, grinding the stump, backfilling with soil and overseeding.

Damage to private property due to fallen City-owned trees

The City has received some reports of damage to lawns on the city right of way adjacent to some homeowner properties due to clean up efforts. Staff are working on addressing the reinstatement of these lawns promptly. If residents notice damage from the storm clean up on the ROW adjacent to their property, we ask that they please notify 3-1-1 so staff can attend. If there is damage to the private portion of the lawn, homeowners are asked to submit a claim through the city’s claims process.

If a City-owned tree is damaged or has caused damage due to the recent storm, it is important to report it to the City via 311 and to not touch the tree. The City will arrange for the clean-up and/or removal of any damaged City-owned trees and – at a later date – also the stumps/root balls. Situations where the tree is blocking the roadway, is leaning/uprooted or is on a house or car are considered urgent. 

Residents should not engage with private arborists for clean-up and/or removal of City-owned trees, as the City will assess and undertake this work. Forestry staff can also assess to determine ownership (private/City) of the tree. Residents and/or their insurers can proceed with repairs to private property without an assessment by the City. If a City-owned tree needs to be removed in advance of this work, Forestry Services is prioritizing those requests.

The City is not automatically liable for damages caused by a fallen City-owned tree. If a claim is made for compensation for storm-related damages caused by a City-owned tree, the City will commence an investigation.

In its investigation, the City will consider whether the tree in question was otherwise healthy and, if not, whether the City’s inspection and maintenance of the tree was reasonable.

Unless the tree falling in the storm was caused or contributed to by a negligent act or omission on the part of the City, the City will not provide compensation for any resulting damages.

For more storm-related claims information, please visit the Claims to the City webpage.

Noise and fence barriers

A growing number of barriers and fences have been reported damaged as a result of the storm on May 21. These include barriers that help to reduce noise in areas that require noise reduction, such as near highways, and may be located on City or private property.

Staff are working to confirm ownership with residents and stakeholders when requests for repair are received, remove damaged barriers/fences where possible and maintain a database of damaged barriers/fences on City-owned property. Cross-departmental discussions are ongoing to determine a way forward for replacing City-owned barriers and fences, including funding and timelines. Residents who would like to report a damaged noise barrier should contact 3-1-1.

Impacted City services

Parks 

  • Some park structures and play areas are temporarily closed for safety purposes due to storm damage. Please check field conditions before use.

 

Emergency Preparedness

Residents interested in learning more about emergency preparedness can consult the City's Emergency Preparedness website. This site provides a range of information, including checklists that can be used to help plan for emergency situations.