South Burlington resident unhappy with the way leaf pick up is being done.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2016


Update:  Asked if he wanted to expand on his comment Jack Dennison, the ward 4 member of council said: “The experts will”

Phillip Waggett, a resident of South Burlington, said his street received its second leaf pickup.

This morning, he advised the Gazette, he took a series of pictures of the serious leaf drop which is ongoing–primarily from city-owned trees.


South Roseland street after leaf pick up – resident thinks the city has made a mistake with its scheduling.

“It is not just my street: wrote Waggett “it is across South Burlington and into Roseland, leaves are everywhere, especially on maple trees which have only dropped a small proportion of their leaves at this time.

“My neighbour is of the opinion that the leaves were picked up one week earlier than last year, resulting in possibly the WORST pickup I have experienced in nearly 40 years of living here.

“Who is responsible for this lack of proper planning/scheduling? I do understand that scheduling must be done in advance but surely City Hall has access to the same long-term weather reports as I do?


This maple tree has yet to lose its leaves – warm weather has it confused – that weather also has the people scheduling the leaf pick-up confused. These are trees on city property.

“And I assume city staff responsible are capable of looking outside to see how much of the leaf fall has occurred? None of this has happened with the consequent poor results. What is the City going to do to rectify this?”

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison did get back to Waggett with the following:

“I have included the director of the Roads and Parks maintenance department”

That was it?

No wonder there is disappointment with the way things get done at city hall.


The map showing where leaves are to be collected was published early in October. Someone appears not to have factored in the milder weather and made some changes.

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12 comments to South Burlington resident unhappy with the way leaf pick up is being done.

  • P'O'd

    We use to have our pick up the last week of Nov. It was moved up 2 weeks early. I will reach out to Mr. Dennison to send the city crews to pick up after Mother Nature finishes off.

  • Jane

    This is not a debate about whether the City should provide the service. The purpose of the service is to pick up the leaves. Our neighbourhood had it’s final pick up on Wednesday this week. Since then, we have raked 15 bags of leaves and 50% of the leaves still remain on the trees. Certainly, someone at the City could of anticipated the late leaf drop this year given the unusually warm fall we have experienced and made the decision to delay the pick up. I repeat, the purpose of the service is to pick up the leaves.

  • Tom

    Isn’t the best option and most efficient if everyone cleaned their own leaves??

    • P. Waggett

      If the City provides the service, it should do it efficiently and effectively. Of course, if we decide to cut this service, where do we stop? Would you mind looking after your own garbage?

      Personally, I have disposed of 75% of my own leaves into a mulching operation at the rear of my yard. However, I’m sick of picking up the City’s mess; the City likes to remind me I can’t touch their precious trees but, by the way, would I clean up their mess? Is there something wrong with this picture?

      However, perhaps you would like to help my 85 year old neighbour, Helen, who has restricted mobility. A week ago, she paid a lawn service to clean up her leaves (none were from her property) and now this week, due to the City’s poor service, her property is again covered with leaves–virtually all from City trees.

  • Centerline

    Mr. Waggett seems to think the City is responsible for the leaves not coming off the Maple trees. Trust me Mr. Waggett, it was an even higher authority than the City, it was Mother Nature.
    In the past the City has collected leaves as long as necessary,extending the program accordingly. Curbside leaf collection is an expensive program to run, and very few Municipality’s run it, leaving residents bag their own. There is always a segment of the population that is never happy with services that are provided to them.
    The City can’t win either way.

  • D. D. M.

    At least he got an answer to his email. I did not. The situation with the leaves is also dangerous. Wet leaves are a driving menace. The streets are lined with City trees that have not dropped their leaves. One must either hire gardeners to truck off to the Halton depot (dumping cost) or bag an excessive amount of leaves. This is not just an issue this year, although it is more so because of the weather related late drop. The most treed neighbourhoods need to be later on the 5 week schedule, not the 1st and 3rd week.

  • John

    I had the same question, this may help.

    The leaf collection schedule is established well in advance and is promoted well in advance city wide to afford residents ample time to prepare for the annual program. One factor critical to the success of the operation and something we don’t have control over is Mother Nature’s cooperation. Council’s approved service standard has been enhanced to include an extra week of collection, along with an additional second pick-up in some collection districts. With the same heave equipment being used for snow removal and leaf collection, the only means for staff to accommodate the second leaf pick-up was to advance the start date, rather than delay the program, as staff need the lead time after leaf collection to prepare for winter. Please note, not all leafing districts receive a second collection. The city leafing program is further supplemented by the yard waste collection service provided by the Region.

  • James

    First world problems…

    People complain if trees are cut. People complain if trees remain and shed their leaves. Just grab a rake like everyone else and bag it up. I honestly didn’t even know that loose leaf pickup still existed. Maybe if it’s that ineffective the program can be cut altogether and the costs credited against our pending tax increase.

  • SteveW

    People will likely say nonsense to this but I am convinced the trees are holding their leaves longer because of global warming. The seasons are extended. I have about 30% of my leaves still to drop at my house. I have asked Rick Craven for two years to change the leave pickup and its always the same response you have received. Glad you wrote this article.

    • Tom Muir

      You are correct in your conviction about global warming. Never mind the naysayers.

      No one could have predicted the extended warm weather we have had, so give the city guys a break. John explains below the scheduling problem.

      The deep yellows and reds are more intense because of the warmth. Leaf drop really gets underway when there is a hard freeze. We haven’t had one yet.

      In Aldershot the leaf drop was in overdrive last night. It got colder as you know. It covered everything we raked yesterday and we could have done it all again today.

      Get over it.

  • Robert Missen

    We haven’t had any pickup yet in our Shoreacres neighbourhood.