Loose Leaf Pickup Program takes a hit - climate change gets blamed.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 22nd, 2019



Well – this comes as no surprise.

People are livid over the changes in the Loose Leaf Pickup Program.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte told her fellow councillors she “understands how frustrating this week has been regarding the changing plans and communications around the program.

“Let me start by saying that I was notified on Wednesday, at the same time as the public, that the service was being dramatically reduced.

This crew will probably not be clearing the leaves from your property. They were working along New Street when this picture was taken.

This crew will probably not be clearing the leaves from your property.

“We have spent the last few days attempting to access additional resources from both the Region as well as outside contractors in order to fulfill the expectations of the community, but unfortunately the vast majority of contractors have already switched their equipment over in accordance with their Snow Removal contracts.

“We have worked diligently to find some resolution with City Staff, but the final decision has concluded that Zone 1, 2 and 3 will only receive one Leaf Pickup this season and Zone 4 Leaf Pickup has been cancelled.

“Once cold weather with freezing temperatures and snow arrives, the sweepers and leaf clearing units cannot operate effectively in below zero temperatures.

“We have also experienced this in the other years where the leaf collection program has been cut very short when winter has come early.
“I fully understand that this decision will frustrate many residents and I assure you, as a resident myself, I share your frustration.

Loose leaf Nov 19-3

This was the announcement that was put out by the city. Councillor Stolte advises that Zone 1, 2 and 3 will only receive one Leaf Pickup this season and Zone 4 Leaf Pickup has been cancelled.

“Senior staff have stated that any decision of this nature is not taken lightly and is carefully considered and balanced against available resources, weather and the priority of winter road and sidewalk clearing.

Shawna quiet

How come Council members were not given a heads up when the leaf collection program was being revised? They might have had some comments – perhaps. No word from the Mayor – not at our level.

“Please try to bag or mulch any remaining leaves. The Region has confirmed that they have extended their yard waste collection service until December 20, 2019.

“If you are unable to clear the leaves previously raked to the curb, it would be helpful if all storm sewer grates are cleared to prevent flood risk.

“We are in the midst of an operational review of this program to see how it can be better managed in the future.”

Does that cut it? Will the visceral frustration ease?

This is Burlington.

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9 comments to Loose Leaf Pickup Program takes a hit – climate change gets blamed.

  • steve G

    Climate change, hahaha. First leaf pickup for my location has always been too early.

  • Mike Ettlewood

    So here we go again or “still”. Who is leading this show – Council or staff? At the very least, our elected representatives should have been given an early “heads-up” that the leaf collection program was going to give them grief, affording them time to react and get in touch with their constituents. As it occurred, they look unprepared and ill-informed. This is the same dynamic that existed with the previous Council and our current City Manager’s ‘strategic style’ doesn’t seem to have improved things. Staff are most definitely “strutting their stuff”. It will be very interesting to see how Council responds to the two staff-driven/formulated development options for downtown. Does this Council have the strength to turn them aside?

  • Jim Barnett

    Over the past 40 years I do not recall one year that the leaves were not picked up. Shawna should provide the years she missed the pick up. There are lots of dump trucks and loaders around looking for work. Anyone can be a councilor if nothing goes wrong. Dealing with adversity is what shows ability.

    • david barker

      2017. The same thing happened. You cannot blame anyone for how Mother Nature works. Certainly though, staff should at a minimum be giving Councilors a heads up to the schedule changes. More probably staff should look to get Mayor sign off before announcing the change.

      Editor’s note: The Mayor does not “sign off” on administrative matters. She should have, and may well have been advised.

  • Bob

    Could it get any worse – livid about leaves on the ground. Climate change ? Snow in November, this is Canada, gosh darn. Shades of the IPPC Kool-Aid and Greta Thunberg,

  • Phillip Wooster

    While I have some sympathy for the snowstorm that threw a wrench into the snow clearing plans, the City’s response was ineffective and inadequate. On my street, leaves were picked up on this past Wednesday; by Friday, it was hard to tell that this ever happened. At least 5 CITY trees are still flush with leaves and shedding almost continuously. Here is the reality of the last 40 years I have lived here–the leaf fall is heaviest the last two weeks in November; that is why leaf pickup the first week in December is so effective. Pickup two week early was a guaranteed failure.

    Climate change? No, just ineffective planning and management. Increasingly, we have a City that seems preoccupied with virtue-signalling and building sidewalks where none are needed, but has a difficult time with needed services. And for this they want 4% more next year!!!!!

    • david barker

      I agree with you that there should be a leaf pickup in early December. I believe it was you who a few weeks ago complained about poor snow removal by City services, particularly as respects Lakeshore. I would like you to know I was out snow blowing my driveway at 7am after the storm and noted Lakeshore’s asphalt was totally clear. Well done City crews!

      • Phillip Wooster

        Certainly worthy of a report to Ripley”s.

        • david barker

          No sooner had u complimented the City crews clearing Lakeshore I’d snow than u had to complain to the City as to the quality of work by the loose leaf Collection crew today. Sure 90% of the leaves in the piles were vacuumed up, but about 10% were left scattered across the boulevard and sidewalk.