You asked: How to dispose of organic storm debris, and when will grass cutting resume?

Published on
June 10, 2022

While the power has been restored to Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One customers, the cleanup after this powerful storm, which impacted every corner of the city, continues. Roadways have been cleared and reopened and all damaged traffic signals have been repaired. However, the ongoing cleanup will continue to require additional resources.

We have provided information continuously throughout the recovery, and we understand all the updates can create information overload. So, we want to answer some common questions that we received from you, our residents. We are hoping these answers will help make things a little clearer.

Are you still picking up larger tree branches and brush?

Yes, the City still has dedicated crews conducting assessments and special collections of tree debris. Dedicated crews have mostly completed a first round of collection, and they are currently making a second pass in heavily impacted areas. We appreciate your patience.

If you haven’t gathered your larger organic storm debris, take advantage of this special collection before it transitions back to regular weekly leaf and yard collection. Our regular collection crews are picking up as much of the curbside debris as possible; special collections crews are handling any larger tree debris that our regular curbside collectors and equipment cannot manage. Just leave everything at the curb for pick-up. Be sure your branches are not obstructing any road, sidewalk, or fire hydrant.

Note that the City continues to accept larger, organic storm-related waste free-of-charge at Trail Road Waste Facility until June 25. For location and hours and operation, visit ottawa.ca.

I have smaller tree debris and brush. Can I simply use my regular leaf and yard waste collection?

Smaller branches and brush can be put out as part of your leaf and yard waste on your weekly waste and recycling collection day. You just need to bundle and tie it or brown-bag it.

Bundling small branches or for those larger ones cut into smaller pieces

  • 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.

Leaves, brush and small twigs can also be placed in a brown paper leaf and yard waste bag. Visit ottawa.ca for more detailed information.

My fallen City tree has been removed. Will someone comeback to remove the stump?

The City will take care of the stump from fallen City-owned trees. This will take time. Before it can be done, your gas and power lines will be marked to ensure only the stump is cut and grinded. This same process as when damaged ash trees were taken down after they were ravaged by the Emerald Ash Borer. There’s no need to call 3-1-1 to request a City tree-stump be removed once the tree is taken away; we will be back for it.

For removal of privately-owned tree stumps, you will need to contact a tree removal company. Also, markings for any underground utility lines – electrical and gas – will need to be done before any digging or grinding work is done. Property owners can consult with their insurance company or broker to see if stump removal is eligible under storm-related coverage in their plan.

When will the City cut the grass on the medians and parks in our neighbourhood?

Yes, tall grass may be seen on your neighbourhood medians and parks – especially after all that rain. Many of the staff who would normally complete that sort of maintenance are still working hard in the cleanup recovery across the city – especially harder hit communities. However, we are gradually moving back to normal operations, and we’ll get to that grass as soon as possible.

For many neighbourhoods, the May 21 storm is just a distant memory.  But for some of us, the extensive damage and recovery efforts remain a present reality.  Many of our City Public Works resources are focusing their energy on cleaning up those heavily impacted neighbourhoods - and soon, services and life will get back to normal.  Thank you for your patience, and for