The May 21 severe weather event resulted in damage, power outages and service disruptions throughout the city. Power has been restored, but the tree and debris clean-up continues.
Check back on this page for updates as they become available. You can also follow these social media accounts for the latest information:
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.
Other storm-related waste – like shingles – should be separated from leaf and yard waste. Broken glass and any other sharp items that may be a risk for handlers should be placed in a cardboard box, labeled clearly for safety and set out separately out on garbage day.
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
Any remaining large tree debris will be flagged by our waste collection operators on the regular leaf and yard waste collection day and left at the curb for a Public Works crew with special equipment to collect.
That collection may occur several days after the regular pick-up day, but crews will be back to collect it. Please ensure the large debris is not blocking any sidewalks, paths, roadways or fire hydrants.
The City’s landfill site at the Trail Waste Facility, 4475 Trail Road, is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm. It will also be open on Saturday, July 16 from 9 am to 5 pm. Normal rates for organic debris have been reinstated. There is a 4 inches size limits on logs and branches (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(link is external).
Large, non-organic debris
Storm damaged materials are being picked up as part of regular garbage collection every two weeks, as long as they fall within the 15 kg weight limit. Check your Collection Calendar to confirm your collection schedule and visit the garbage page on ottawa.ca for more detailed set-out information.
The City’s landfill site at the Trail Waste Facility, 4475 Trail Road, is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm and Saturday, July 16 from 8 am to 4 pm. Tipping fees for non-organic debris have been reinstated.
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
Since the storm hit, lots of tree debris has been stored at Public Works facilities across the city. That debris is being made into woodchips and given away free of charge.
Residents can pick up free mulch for beneficial reuse in their own back yards or community gardens at the following locations:
- Navan Memorial Centre, 1295 Colonial Road
- Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue (Minto sports field parking lot, between Minto field and Hamilton baseball diamond)
- 29 Hurdman Road
- 2145 Roger Stevens Drive
- 4244 Rideau Valley Drive
- 2481 Scrivens Drive
- 1655 Maple Grove Road
Since Thursday August 11, 724 cubic yards of woodchips have been delivered to seven City sites. Residents have picked up the equivalent of 18,500 standard garden mulch bags, creating a beneficial re-use of tree debris from the storm. That’s a total of approximately 46,500 standard garden mulch bags that have been reclaimed since July 8.
Please note that woodchips from storm-related tree debris may differ in size and quality from what is for sale at a garden centre. The chips will be available while quantities last. There is no per-person limit.
Please bring your shovel and containers for loading the chips. Wear work gloves and appropriate footwear and be mindful of other people and vehicles to keep everyone safe.
Firewood and pieces of block wood from City trees damaged by the storm will also be available for residents to pick up at no cost in the coming weeks. Information on dates and locations for collecting this material will be provided to Council and residents shortly. In addition, full logs are currently up for auction until August 5th, and anyone interested in purchasing them can visit this website for more details.
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.
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
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
- Some park structures and play areas are temporarily closed for safety purposes due to storm damage. Please check field conditions before use.
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.