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Council Receives Update on Burlington’s Loose-Leaf Collection Program

Council Receives_Loose Leaf Collection Program Update - TW

Burlington City Council recently received an update report from staff reviewing the 2022 Loose-Leaf Collection Program and providing guidance for the 2023 program.

Based on the success of this program, staff are recommending that the City of Burlington continues with the single pickup, three-week program with no significant changes to the collection schedule or zone boundaries.


This is something that is discussed almost every year, at least since I’ve been an elected official. It is a very well-received service from our community that they appreciate and complements Halton’s bi-weekly, bagged yard waste pickup program. Residents who do not want to rake or bag leaves, should consider mulching the leaves for their lawns — it acts as great organic material and a natural way to deal with fallen leaves that’s also a benefit to the environment and local insect-life.

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To read staff’s full report, including their evaluation of the 2022 three-week program and their findings, click/tap here: RPF-02-23 Loose Leaf Collection Program Update.


The primary service for leaf disposal throughout the City of Burlington is provided through the Region of Halton’s bagged yard waste pickup program, with bi-weekly collections scheduled from April to mid-December. The City also provides a loose-leaf collection service that supplements the Regional service, and was originally put in place to help residents in areas where leaf drop volumes are very high, and where it would not be convenient to bag/collect through the Region’s yard waste collection service.

Prior to 2020, the City’s Loose-Leaf Collection Program was delivered annually over a six-week period starting in early November, with two collections planned for designated areas of the city. Winter weather during the program period would often cause collection delays and in extreme cases prevent the completion of the program.

During the 2018 and 2019 program years, continuous winter weather caused an early end to leaf collection activities, leaving many areas not serviced with uncollected leaves remaining on the roads. Understandably, this caused intense resident dissatisfaction with a high number of complaints that resulted in a program review and the creation of a two-year pilot in 2020 and 2021.

The 2020 and 2021 program years were restricted to a single pickup to select areas of the City, over a reduced four-week period. This pilot program was designed to mitigate service delivery risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to reduce program costs.

The current Loose-Leaf Collection Program was approved by Council for the 2022 program year and was restricted to a single pickup to select areas of the city over a reduced three-week period. The 2022 program was designed to improve upon the parameters of the two-year pilot by deferring the start of the collection period by one week, to better align with leaf drop timing and help increase the ability for
residents to take advantage of the City’s collection service.

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