Waterloo, Kitchener set to review leaf collection programs
KITCHENER -- Two of the tri-cities have plans to review their current leaf collection programs.
Love it or hate it, loose leaf collection in Waterloo Region is a hot topic of conversation.
"We have no problems with the program but I know that a lot of people have said they wish they could pick the leaves up sooner," said Waterloo resident Abdullah Barakat.
"Quite often they're left on the side of the road to clog up the water drainage," said Audrey Nicholls, who lives in Kitchener.
Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge each have their own programs using trucks to collect leaves residents rake onto the curb ahead of certain dates, but timing is tricky.
When people rake too early, leaves can create safety issues in the streets. However, if trucks come too late, piles are missed and storm drains can sometimes end up clogged.
That's a big part of the reason why Waterloo Coun. Tenille Bonoguore is asking that city's staff to review the program.
"When we have the snow come in, or ice come in, there's a crunch between the two seasons," she explained.
Options that could include changing the program timing, keeping it the way it is, or scrapping it completely.
Getting rid of the program is an option that Waterloo Coun. Angela Vieth says could be beneficial for the environment.
"They provide nutrients to the soil. They take care of the birds, the pollinators and all those little things that need protection over the winter," said Vieth.
Further debate and public input is expected to happen over the next few months.
"I'm hoping that we can get a report back by the summer so that we can make a decision, if any decisions need to be made, for potentially this year," added Bonoguore.
Meanwhile, the City of Kitchener is planning a review of its program in 2022, while a spokesperson for the City of Cambridge said the city recently reviewed its program and plans to continue as normal.