M E M O
In response to the COVID-19 situation in our community and the spring freshet, changes to the City’s Public Works and Environmental Services (PWES) are being implemented to keep residents and employees safe. The purpose of this memo is to share details of those service changes.
As the City of Ottawa is now in a state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19 Public
Works and Environmental Services operations have shifted to adapt to this evolving situation. All employees who are operationally able to work from home have been asked to do so. To protect employees who cannot work from home, shift start and end times are being staggered, the numbers of employees on certain crews are reduced and plans are being continuously developed to rotate employees. These measures are being implemented to allow for greater physical distancing and promote the health and safety of our people. Also, public facing customer service counters are closed, non-emergency home visits are cancelled, and COVID-19 information boards are being installed in plants and yards to keep employees informed. Keeping in mind these measures have modified and reduced our workforce in the field, our focus right now is on essential services and below is an overview of the impact the COVID-19 virus is having on service delivery to residents.
Modified Programs and Services
Tree Planting and Maintenance
Due to uncertainty over the timely availability of underground utility locates, a legislated requirement, spring caliper tree planting will not occur and the start up of tree stumping operations will be postponed until June at the earliest.
Spring community tree planting projects have also been postponed due to restrictions on public gatherings. The Green Acres Rural Reforestation Program is currently under review. Tree maintenance activities have been reduced to facilitate physical distancing among employees. Forestry inspections staff continue to respond to priority requests for service to City trees, assess storm damage, monitor tree and forest health, and enforce tree protection and permitting related to applicable tree by-laws.
Trail Road Landfill
The Trail Road Landfill Site is closed to the public and residents are asked to contact other local landfills at this time. The landfill remains accessible to process routine residential and multi-residential waste collection.
GLAD Cleaning the Capital
GLAD Cleaning the Capital Spring Campaign activities will be delayed until further notice.
When communicating to residents, we will note that moving forward with activities is contingent on the lifting of related public health advisories e.g., physical distancing. We continue to accept registrations until May 15, 2020 and will adjust according to public health recommendations.
Household Hazardous Waste Depots
The first Household Hazardous Waste Depot scheduled for April 26 has been cancelled and subsequent scheduled events are subject to change or cancellation.
As outlined in a previous memo to Council, nine (9) household hazardous waste depots were scheduled to take place in 2020 from April 26 to October 24. Due to the current circumstances, the first household hazardous waste depot is cancelled. Public Works and Environmental Services is working with the relevant contractor to find an alternative date and has communicated the cancellation to the public. There are 2 planned events between the beginning of May and the end of June, specifically May 31 and June 21. Staff will advise closer to those dates about the viability of continuing as planned. Specific notice will be provided to members of Council in advance of any planned cancellations. In the meantime, residents have been asked to hold onto their waste as we work to reschedule events.
Street Sweeping and Multi-Use Pathways (MUPs)
Street sweeping operations have started. Additional efforts are being made to clear and sweep multi-use pathways (MUPs) and the segregated cycling network to allow for increased active transportation.