Cleaning up fallen leaves can sometimes feel like a never ending battle, especially since the city has asked everyone to make sure they separate out the garbage, and put them in brown bags to be composted.
But Calgarians may be surprised to learn a lot leaves picked up by city crews aren’t composted and instead end up in the trash.
Three different city departments do leaf removal of some kind: roads, parks and water.
While parks tries to mulch as many of the leaves as they can back on the grass, they say they can’t do it when the leaves are wet and when that happens, they go to the landfill.
Brittany Kustra with the Roads Department says they have ten sweepers which pick up leaves.
“The leaves are cleaned up by the sweepers and those just clean up general garbage as well and we don’t sort out leaves from general garbage,” she explained, which means they don’t get composted, they all go into the trash.
The Water Department also doesn’t collect leaves for composting from storm drains, for example.
Numerous calls to councillors, many of which are on the Community and Protective Services Committee, were not returned, but Councillor Shane Keating says he can see why that might irk some people.
“If we’re asking residents to compost, city departments should have been composting years ago,” he said, but he added for efficiency’s sake, and from a cost perspective, it may not be possible to sort the compostable leaves from the garbage.