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Dumping tree pickup not good stewardship

Re: No city Christmas tree collection
How can this city justify calling itself green?  They now encourage residents to use fake Christmas trees. Artificial trees are the most abusive products – non-Canadian and manufactured mostly in China using nonrenewable fossil fuels and consuming massive amounts of energy, water and mining resources to make.
A real tree is an environmental bonus. It’s a totally compostable, Canadian (local jobs) product, grown on land unsuitable for other crops while producing oxygen, shade and preventing erosion, and it’s a renewable resource.
How does Guelph accomplish and justify this irresponsible action? By cancelling pickup of Christmas trees to “save” $22,000, a mere 0.01% of the $185.2- million budget!  Each of us with a real tree will spend about one hour of time and $4 of fuel and pollute the air with vehicles fumes to  drive out/back/wait at the dump. If there are 6,000 real trees used, that will cost taxpayers over $24,000.
The very least the city can still do to minimize the effect of this brilliant move is to establish  drop-off sites (recreation centres/parks) in each ward where the city could pick up and chip the trees. That is, if the tree owner can drag them that far. If that does not occur, I think the new green bins will become the depository.
Inflicting environmental pollution contradicts the claim that the city wants to increase tree canopy and good stewardship of our resources and economy.
But the city can hire two more “communications” personnel (2 x $85,000) to complement the six existing one, so we will have eight staff to “communicate” to us why all this is good!
At least the trees that get dumped in ditches will decompose, a charity will make some money and the city will pick up the ‘retired’ fake trees from the grey bins/bags.
Anne Holman   Guelph

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