Council has agreed to allow local residents to drop off any tree debris at the Mission landfill for free.
The free service will run from now until Feb. 11 before being re-evaluated.
A staff report, presented to council on Monday afternoon, indicated it is difficult to estimate how much it will cost the district to provide the service.
However, staff believe it will “have a net cost between $50,000 and $150,000. This is in addition to the increased cost estimated between $40,000 and $80,000 for processing the additional curbside tonnages (branches bundled and left for pick up at residences).”
While council agreed to provide the free services, there were several concerns expressed.
Coun. Pam Alexis asked why a deadline had been put in place.
“It’s going to take longer than a few weeks to get things cleaned up so I’m concerned about putting a timeline around the landfill,” she said
Tracy Kyle, director of engineering and public works, explained that because of the uncertainty of the financial impact, the deadline was put in place, but as the deadline gets closer, it could be reevaluated and possibly extended.
Alexis also asked whether it was possible for Mission to apply for some disaster relief funds to help with the costs of clean up.
She was told the incident was not large enough to trigger disaster financial assistance funding and the district was “on the hook” for the full cost of clean up.
Mission was the only community that activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) during the ice storm.
Alexis was also troubled by what she called “Facebook chatter” which stated the district had been giving residents deadlines to clean up tree limbs and other debris scattered on their property and across right-of-ways.
“We need to set the record straight from what’s out there in Facebook land.”
Kyle responded, telling Alexis “as far as I know we haven’t given out any deadlines.”
She said if debris was causing an issue with traffic or sidewalks, the district would “have gone in and clean it up ourselves.”
Free drop off:
The free drop-off of tree limbs and debris is limited to Mission residents only. Proof of address may be required for those without an existing window decal for the landfill.
However, landfill rules will still apply. Branch and tree sections must be less than 1.5 metres or five feet long and no more than 0.3 metres or 12 inches in diameter.
Root-balls and stumps are not allowed and tree debris must be free of rocks and soil.
Burning Yard Debris:
Burning of yard debris is strictly regulated by the Mission Burning Bylaw and is not allowed anywhere within the municipality at this time.
Burning of yard debris is not allowed within curbside collection zones at any time. In areas without garbage pickup, burning of yard debris is allowed in April and November only, and a permit is not required.