Jack Quartly of Red Deer works to unload what is left of a May Day tree he removed from his property at the City of Red Deer landfill on Monday afternoon. Residential yard waste collection began this spring on April 8th and will run through the fall until Nov. 8th. For any residents wanting to remove larger amounts yard waste can be dropped off at the landfill. This week the City of Red Deer is offering a free yard-waste week where no fee will be collected until May 4. Acceptable items included in the yard waste program are grass clippings

Red Deer yard waste accepted, for free

Those cleaning up their finally snow-free yards can take advantage of the city’s annual spring free yard waste disposal week.

Those cleaning up their finally snow-free yards can take advantage of the city’s annual spring free yard waste disposal week.

Residents can take their yard waste without charge to the waste management facility at 1709 40th Ave., just off the Delburne Road, through to and including Saturday. The facility is open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the week, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

Normally, a minimum charge of $7 applies to yard waste disposal at the landfill.

The disposed of grass clippings, branches and leaves will be composted. No plastic bags or garbage are accepted in the yard waste.

A number of residents got an early jump on their waste disposal on Saturday, taking advantage of nice weather to clean up. A mid-afternoon rush of people to the dump ultimately led to waits of well over an hour to exit the facility.

City waste management superintendent Janice Whitesell said there was no problem with the process, but the number of vehicles entering — 37 in a half-hour period at one point — caused a bottleneck at the exit where payments were taken.

“Up until around noon, people were still getting out within a reasonable time frame, but then it got pretty backed up in the afternoon,” she said.

Such a rush on the landfill usually occurs annually one Saturday in the spring when the weather is nice, added Whitesell. While she said city staff will be talking about how things could have been done better, Whitesell noted it is hard to plan for a rush when its timing is unpredictable.

The landfill site has only one exit point, which Whitesell said is sufficient the vast majority of the time to handle customers.

The long waits are “understandably frustrating,” she acknowledged, while also noting that landfill staff stayed an hour late on Saturday to process all comers.

With sun and warmth forecast for the coming Saturday as well, Whitesell said the city will be prepared for high traffic volumes on the weekend.

A staff person will be dispatched to talk with people in the inbound lane about any wait times, and people dropping off yard waste will be sent around the scales to hopefully speed up the process.

Yard waste can also be set out alongside garbage for pickup until Nov. 8. Yard waste must be properly marked with labels available free at City Hall and city recreation centres.

For more information about the city’s yard waste program or landfill, visit www.reddeer.ca/envservices or call 403-342-8750.

mfish@bprda.wpengine.com

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