Major spring cleanup operation begins in Winnipeg

Gone are the snowplows, finally, so here come the street sweepers.

Winnipeg has emerged from one of the snowiest seasons in its history, which means more than 100,000 tonnes of sand, spread around the city for traction, must now be cleaned up, along with all of the other winter detritus. 

Crews rolled out on Sunday to begin a variety of annual spring operations that will take five to six weeks — cleaning Winnipeg’s entire street network, including bridges, sidewalks and active transportation paths.

It’s a major operation, with some 500 workers using more than 300 pieces of equipment, a news release from the city said.

When a residential street is scheduled for sweeping, residents are urged to find a different place to park, such as an off-street driveway or parking lot, to avoid getting a $150 ticket and the vehicle towed.

Cleaning schedules will be posted on the city’s Know Your Zone app and website.

A cleanup of boulevards and medians will begin May 8, when crews will also go into city parks to gather litter and debris.

Yard waste collection

This year’s curbside yard waste collection program will begin the week of May 9 for homes in yard waste collection area A and the week of May 16 for homes in yard waste collection area B.

Yard waste is collected at the curb once every two weeks, on the same collection day as recycling and garbage, and will continue until November.

You can find your yard waste collection days by checking the city’s website or contacting 311. There are also drop-off sites for yard waste at the Brady, Pacific or Panet 4R depots.

Yard waste includes outside organic materials, such as grass clippings, leaves, plants, flowers, bush and shrub clippings, and small tied bundles of branches no longer than one metre and no heavier than 22 kilograms.

Yard waste pickup will be done on the same day as trash and recycling collection, every two weeks. (City of Winnipeg)

Materials need to be put in paper yard waste bags, cardboard boxes or reusable containers without a lid (plastic tubs, old blue boxes, old metal or plastic garbage containers). The materials will be dumped into the collection truck and the reusable containers returned.

Plastic bags are not accepted.

People are urged against raking yard waste onto the street because it can plug the drains and increase the risk of basement flooding.

Pothole patching

The city says it is also in full pothole-patching mode, which began in early April.

So far, the city’s 311 service has received 4,004 pothole-related requests and crews have addressed more than 46,000 potholes.

The focus has been on main routes (Priority 1) and bus routes and collector streets (Priority 2) as required and as weather allows.

A car splashes through muddy water filling a pothole on Goulet Street in Winnipeg in April. (Trevor Lyons/Radio-Canada)

However, very large or deep potholes that pose an imminent safety concern are given immediate attention, the city said in a news release.

The pothole repairs that crews make at this time of year are temporary patches using an asphalt mix, called cold mix, specifically designed for use in cold, wet weather.

Due to unfavourable wet weather and wet road conditions, crews may have had to return several times to repair the same pothole.

Beginning on Monday, it is expected that dedicated crews will be doing more permanent repairs with hot asphalt throughout the city.

Again, they will focus their efforts on Priority 1 and Priority 2 streets.

The number of potholes on city streets is proportional to how wet road conditions are and the extent of the freeze-thaw cycle each spring — and more are expected to develop in the days ahead, the city said.

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