After the storm: what to do with your debris and waste

The City is continuing with regular garbage and recycling collection following the severe storm that passed through Ottawa on Saturday, May 21. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about your waste and debris, and what to do with it.

City crews are working hard to remove items put to the curb, but it will take several weeks before the cleanup is finished. All available resources have been redeployed and as a result, other less-urgent operations may be delayed, like park waste collection and grass-mowing, or sidewalk repair. If you are enjoying lunch in your local park, please consider taking your waste home with you as it may be some time before the City can empty those bins.

What do to with your household waste

Examples: Food packaging, plastics, cardboard, broken glass. Visit the Waste Explorer for more.

How to dispose: Put your household waste to the curb as part of regular garbage and recycling collection, according to the collection calendar. Remember to put broken glass in a separate cardboard box clearly labeled ‘broken glass’ and set it out on garbage day.

What to do with your organic waste

Examples: Food waste or scraps, barbeque ashes, paper coffee cups, soiled paper towels and paper. Visit the Waste Explorer for more.

How to dispose: Organic waste can be disposed of in your green bin. Organic waste gets picked up weekly so you can continue to put out your green bin, according to the collection calendar. Collection may take time due to expected increased volume, so if your green bin is not collected by the end of the day, please take it in and put it back out at the curb the following morning.

The City is carrying out a green bin blitz over the next few days in the neighbourhoods most affected by the storm to ensure organic waste is collected as soon as possible. Visit the Storm recovery webpage for more information on the green bin blitz.

The City has also set up several sites for residents to have ongoing access to organics-only waste dumpsters. Just like you do with your green bin, you are allowed to bag your waste. Visit ottawa.ca for a complete list of dumpster locations. More dumpsters are being added so be sure to check back for up-to-date information.

Please remember that these dumpsters are for organics only. Non-organic materials, like food packaging, should be disposed of separately.

What to do with your storm-related waste

Examples: Shingles, fencing, lawn furniture. Visit the Waste Explorer for more.

How to dispose: Please separate storm-related waste from any trees or branches when you put them to the curb.

The City’s landfill at the Trail Waste Facility, at 4475 Trail Road, is also offering extended hours to accommodate special collections and will waive tipping fees for residents with storm-related materials to support residents with their disposal needs.

What to do with your tree cuttings, branches and brush

Examples: logs, large tree limbs, pressure treated wood

How to dispose: If the debris is small enough, you should bring it to curb for collection, provided it does not impede the roadway or pedestrian access. Please separate brush-like tree cuttings or branches from non-organic storm-related waste. If you can, use twine or another organic material to tie branches in bundles of less than 1.2 metres (four feet) in length and 60 centimetres (two feet) in width.

Public Works crews are working to remove large trees and pieces of wood on roads and in parks that are hazardous, or are damaging homes and vehicles, blocking roads, or leaning on residential properties. Large trees, trunks, stumps and root systems that residents have cut down may be placed curbside if possible. While these will not be collected as part of the regular waste collection, the City will pick them up. This collection will take several weeks.

For now, you do not need a permit to remove dead or hazardous trees on your private property where the tree is an immediate threat to public health and safety or will not survive the damage sustained. Photos should be taken before removal to provide evidence of the condition of the tree should there be future inquiries.

What to do with your household hazardous waste

Examples: batteries, un-emptied aerosol containers, propane cylinders, paints and coatings, gasoline

How to dispose: Household hazardous waste can be safely disposed of at participating local retailers during their regular business hours. For a list of retailers who accept returns of household hazardous waste, enter the item in the Waste Explorer.

For updates on the City’s storm response, follow the City on Twitter and visit the City’s Storm Recovery webpage.