City regular yard waste collection to remove leftover ice storm wood debris

With the onset of spring, the snow is melting to reveal bits and pieces of wood debris generated by the late December 2013 ice storm. Inaccessible up until now, this remaining material will be dealt with through the City's regular leaf and yard waste bi-weekly collection which began March 11. Residents, in accordance with their local collection calendars, may set their leaf and yard waste out on their regularly scheduled garbage day. Any leftover ice storm wood debris will be removed by these regular leaf and yard waste collection crews provided the material is set out correctly by 7:00 a.m. on pickup day.

The diameter of branches must not be larger than 7.5 cm (3 inches). For limbs, trunks and stumps that exceed this accepted size, residents must make arrangements with a private company specializing in handling this type of waste.

Residents should not transfer branches, large or small, from trees located on their own private property to City parks. Doing so is a bylaw offense and residents run the risk of being ticketed for illegal dumping. Residents need to take responsibility for the wood debris themselves, make an arrangement with a contractor or put it out for City yard waste collection if the material meets these set out requirements.

For City collection, branches must be put out in small bundles no longer than 1.2m (4 feet) in length and 0.6m (2 feet) in width. The maximum height for yard waste containers is 95 cm (37 inches) and each container cannot weigh more than 20 kgs (40 lbs). Kraft paper bags are acceptable containers. The City will not pick up yard waste set out in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.

Large fallen branches from public trees on public property or any fallen or hanging limbs that are potential hazards on streets or in City parks should be reported to 311. Appropriate action will be taken to remove them.

The coordinated multi-divisional team responsible for removing ice storm wood debris completed cleaning the streets on January 30, 2014 and the removal of fallen wood debris in City parks was finished on February 24. Residents were informed that any tree debris not reported to 311 by February 3 would be picked up when the City begins bi-weekly leaf and yard waste collection on March 11. There will not be another city-wide wood debris removal sweep.

For residents that live in the Asian long-horned beetle (ALHB) quarantine area in Etobicoke, City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in an appropriate manner. Residents are advised not to take this wood out of the Federal quarantine area. Check toronto.ca/trees for more information.

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