City landfills will accept storm-damaged branches until end of the year
Calgarians have two more weekends to take advantage of city-wide drop-off locations for their bagged leaves, pumpkins and storm-damaged tree debris.
The seasonal drop-off locations throughout the city will close on Sunday, November 9 as the annual Leaf & Pumpkin Composting Program comes to an end. The program started earlier than usual this year to accommodate the huge volume of tree branches and debris from the September snow storm.
City landfills – Spyhill, East Calgary and Shepard – will continue to accept storm-damaged tree debris free of charge until December 31, 2014 as long as it’s not mixed with garbage or other materials. Landfills will be closed on Sundays starting November 16.
“We encourage Calgarians to make use of the convenient drop-off locations for these last two weekends,” said Dave Griffiths, Director of Waste & Recycling Services. “Whether it’s tree branches damaged from the snow or your usual autumn leaves and pumpkins, we want you to bring them to one of our drop-offs so we can keep them out of the landfills.”
Organic material such as branches, leaves and pumpkins buried in landfills produce greenhouse gases and leachate as they slowly decompose over many years, while also taking up space in the landfill.
As of the end of October, City landfills have received more than 22 million kilograms (22,000 tonnes) of tree debris from the storm cleanup. The City plans to keep all of the debris out of landfills by grinding the branches into useful mulch. The mulch will be ready for use next summer after it’s dried and screened. Waste & Recycling Services is developing a plan for the mulch which will include using it in City parks and trails.
For residents who are unable to get to the drop-off locations or landfills, small branches (no thicker than three inches) cut into three-foot lengths can be put inside black carts, or tied together and set next to carts for pick up if bins are full. However, branches put out with the garbage will not be mulched.
The Leaf & Pumpkin Composting Program is intended for residential use only, and people are asked not to include rocks, soil or sod. Paper yard waste bags are recommended over plastic bags as they can be composted along with the leaves and pumpkins. Contractors should take materials to one of the three City landfill locations directly.
“The City thanks all of the hosts of our seasonal drop-off locations for allowing us to open them early due to the storm and all citizens who pitched in, picked up and pulled together to clean up our city,” said Griffiths.
Visit calgary.ca/waste or contact 311 for landfill and drop-off locations. Please note that the Glamorgan location does not accept tree debris.