A Christmas tree sits at the edge of a yard in downtown Whitehorse on Feb. 8. (Chris Windeyer/Yukon News)

Weather causes delays for Whitehorse residents pining for Christmas tree pickup

City crews should have tree collection completed within two weeks

If your Christmas tree is still sitting on the curb, half-buried in snow, blame the weather.

The city crews that were scheduled to start removing the trees beginning Jan. 8 have been pulled away in recent weeks to focus on clearing snow from roads and sidewalks.

Richard Graham, manager of operations with the city, said that while snowfall hasn’t been heavy, it has been consistent.

Graham said garbage and compost pick-up hasn’t been derailed by the weather because, while tree removal is part of that pick-up program, a separate city crew that gets assigned to roads-related issues carries out the work.

Graham said it takes a bit longer because of the manual labour involved in loading the trees into pick-up trucks and one-tons, which can carry more trees than the standard compost trucks.

From there, trees are delivered to the landfill, which is managed by water and waste.

“It really came down to priorities and realistically the trees aren’t going to go bad on the curbs for a little bit longer,” said Graham.

“The priority roads are our priority on a daily basis.”

Graham said tree removal is 75 to 80 per cent complete, with trees in Porter Creek and Copper Ridge taken care of.

He said trees remain in Riverdale, Hillcrest and downtown.

“We know there’s still some out there and we are hoping to finish in the next couple weeks,” said Graham.

After that, he said crews will do a final sweep of neighbourhoods.

The City of Whitehorse will update people via its twitter account, @city_whitehorse. Graham said the city is trying to update it at least weekly.

Anyone with a tree remaining by the end of February can contact operations at 668-8345.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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