The Municipality of Colchester is celebrating the completion of its extensive post-Fiona Tree and Yard Debris Collection program eight weeks after it began. The program successfully served all residents throughout the Municipality whose material was curbside at their regular collection location by the October 11, 2022, start date.

“Following the overwhelming devastation left by Hurricane Fiona, Council recognized the need to respond quickly to help residents. Tipping fees for Fiona-related tree and yard debris were first waived at our Colchester Solid Waste Facilities in Kemptown. Then planning for a special collection program quickly got underway,” recalls Colchester County Mayor, Christine Blair. “Although an unexpected and unbudgeted expense, Council was fortunate to be able to support the program.”

“The first challenge was identifying a collection approach that could accommodate the sheer size and volume of debris that residents were dealing with,” explains Colchester’s Director of Solid Waste, Phillip Redden. “Then the task of sourcing adequate equipment, operators, and in some cases traffic control services, amidst labour shortages and circumstances where other public and private entities were competing for the same resources, was the next hurtle to overcome.”

Employing as many local assets as were available, the collection team used the same “turn by turn” route-mapping technology as is used for regular garbage, recycling, and compost collection to ensure no one would be missed. In all, 1400 truckloads totalling over 1850 tonnes of material was collected, adding to the 933 tonnes of material that had been brought to the Kemptown facility by residents themselves.

The Municipality’s contribution to Fiona clean-up efforts is anticipated to reach approximately $500,000. However, staff are hopeful that a portion of these funds may be recovered through Federal emergency assistance programs.

“In addition to our special collection program, we were also very fortunate in Colchester to have had neighbours helping one another, and teams from Christian Aid Ministries Rapid Response Services and the Department of Natural Resources assisting homeowners with their individual clean-ups. We have come a very long way since Fiona arrived on September 24,” says Mayor Blair. “I also want to acknowledge the volunteer services of our fire brigades, first responders, Colchester Ground Search and Rescue, our regional Emergency Management team, and all Colchester staff involved for the tremendous amount of work they did in the aftermath of Fiona.”

Residents who continue to require support may call 211 or visit the following website to determine what Provincial program options remain available: https://novascotia.ca/hurricane-fiona-support.

 

 Colchester Fiona Tree and Yard Debris Collection copy