What would happen if the Loose Leaf Collection program was killed?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 25th, 2019



Recall those occasions when you put two and two together and realize that the total is five?

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. They were working along New Street when this picture was taken.

Keep that in mind as you look through what we have written about the Loose Leaf Collection Program and read the comments carefully.

Could it be that City Council is giving serious thought to the idea of killing the program as part of a tax saving measure?

The program is expensive and no matter that the city does – something goes wrong.

Leaf collection 2017 truckWhy not just get rid of it early in their term of office; give the native’s time to get used to the idea and boast about how you have managed to keep the budget at just a pinch above the 4% increase last year.

If that doesn’t fly – how about a Loose Leaf Collection levy?

This is a story that still has some legs – let’s see where the tail that wags the dog takes us?

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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12 comments to What would happen if the Loose Leaf Collection program was killed?

  • Hans Jacobs

    Re: “What would happen if the Loose Leaf Collection program was killed?” – The storm sewer system would require much more frequent inspection and cleaning and that might cost more than leaf collection.

  • Ben Tuinman

    As much as we have loved the leaf collection service over many years, and living in a more mature area of the City, we also recognize the importance of environmental issues, even more highlighted in this mornings news. I agree, that it doesn’t seem right to collect leaves with vehicles that dirty the air we breath. Bagging is going to be difficult for us physically, so we will have to hire help in case the leaf program is cancelled, or pay a collection levy.

  • Perryb

    In the day, we just burned them. Now, some would say put them in bags for pick up as usual (which would probably cost more, with more ‘belching diesel’) Or just leave them in the street until traffic grinds them up to wash into the sewers. Or cut down the trees (what…??) Or raze all the houses and let forests return. Or, or, or. Let’s see some real numbers and less wild speculation.

  • Gary Scobie

    Trees. They give us so much. Natural beauty, shade, coolness, protection, soil retention, carbon sinks and oxygen generation. I just realized this is my fortieth raking season at our home. We have fifty trees over three metres high and a few at fifteen metres in our suburban back yard, a natural woods that wasn’t clear-cut when our house was built in 1973. It was part of the attraction when we bought it in 1980. Old trees die and new ones sprout on their own.

    Our neighbours still have many high trees from the same woodland that is nearby Peart Park. We get seeds, maple keys, acorns and hickory nuts during the summer and leaves, lots of leaves, in the fall. From our own trees and those of our neighbours, some “city” trees, most privately “owned”. Yes, I may complain sometimes about all the work to pick up the leaves, but I’d rather yell at a tree than a human. And I see it as a partnership where I and the planet reap more benefit than work required to maintain our neighbourhood canopy.

    I raked and bagged before the loose leaf program came to our neighbourhood. I still bag most of the leaves, although I love the loose leaf pickup too. I’d miss it, but don’t feel I’m owed it. I’ll continue to bag no matter how the program changes, or get some neighbour kids to help me. If you love trees, then yes, I think you should love leaves too. It’s part of the deal.

    • David

      I also have a lot of trees on a large lot in the downtown area, my landscapers used to take care of them until I stopped working. If you Google ‘What happens to collected leaves’ you will actually wonder why we collect leaves for pick up. I tried mulching with the mower and bagging, then decided to vac and mulch for the beds….This article starts with the statement ‘when you put two and two together and realize that the total is five?’ This formula is wrong when talking about leaves the formula should be ‘Five times Five equals one’ ….leaves when shredded, don’t amount to a hill of beans, my trees don’t produce enough leaves to cover my beds. shredding is actually faster than lugging them to the curb. I will be purchasing a proper leaf shredder for next year.

      • David

        My wife has pointed out a major flaw in my plan….If we all adopt various methods that saved the city the expense of leaf pick up, they would just take that money and spend it on something frivolous….So, as you were.

  • Steve W

    If they killed it … I would be cutting down some trees in my yard. For me living in an old neighborhood with many mature trees, I have a 2 metre high by 8 metre long and a metre wide pile by the curbside. It takes me in excess of 10 hrs to blow, rake and haul mountains of leaves into a tarp and drag it to the front. Bagging them would add hours to the process. Cutting down the trees would be the only unfortunate solution.

  • Phillip Wooster

    I don’t see this as a tax-saving measure. This City has a track-record of spending money on all kinds of pet projects that invariably result in wasted expenditure that adds little to the quality of life in Burlington.

    And if the City doesn’t clean up the leaves, the result will be rather predictable–the leaves will not be picked up to litter the streets as they are now as a result of this year’s flawed pick-up. The majority of residents will not clean up after the City’s trees.

  • James Appleyard

    Seems to me that you can’t love trees but hate leaves.

    As council spends a disproportionate amount of time on saving trees, they have to understand that these mystic plants produce copious amounts of leaves that is unreasonable for residents to have to bag.

  • Collin

    On environmental considerations alone, this program needs to go. Big dump trucks & front end loaders belching diesel into the atmosphere to collect leaves? This service we can do without in our state of climate emergency.

    • Donny Brook

      What “climate emergency”? What has changed in terms of the weather you experience here? Stop pushing the panic button over some predictions by doomsayer scientists who have no idea what the temperatures will look like in 50 years.