ARAC July 2, hazardous waste, and wild parsnip

The City of Ottawa’s Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meets again Thursday, July 2nd at Ben Franklin Place. This month’s agenda includes a presentation on the 2015 International Plowing Match, to be held in Finch, ON; the commemorative naming of a new park in Carp after Don Rivington; Zoning By-Law amendments for 4845 Bank Street (Osgoode), 1848 Upper Dwyer Hill Road (West Carleton-March), 1175 Manotick Station Road & 6247 Pebblewoods Drive (Osgoode), 2864 Diamondview Road (West Carleton-March), as well as part of 1121 Stagecoach Road and part of 1000 Vista Barrett Private (Osgoode).

One final item comes from Councillor George Darouze and deals with septic system inspections that are required within source water protection plans. In smaller municipalities, the costs of these inspections are being paid for by the Province. However, the City of Ottawa is not eligible for any Provincial grants under this program. The motion from Councillor Darouze recommends that the City of Ottawa work with the Ottawa Septic System Office to develop a program to help offset the costs that would be incurred by private homeowners.

This meeting will begin at 10:00am in the Chambers at Ben Franklin Place. The complete agenda, and all of the reports, can be found at Ottawa.ca.

Household Hazardous Waste Depot

The City will host a one-day Household Hazardous Waste Depot on Sunday, June 28th at the OC Transpo Park and Ride Station at 3355 Fallowfield Road. The depot will run from 8:00am until 4:00pm.

Household hazardous waste includes items such as:

  • aerosol containers
  • batteries (automotive/household)
  • propane cylinders
  • fluorescent bulbs/tubes
  • fire extinguishers
  • fertilizers and pesticides
  • needles and syringes
  • pharmaceuticals
  • paints and coatings
  • pool chemicals

The City is committed to helping residents dispose of their waste in the safest and most environmentally friendly way and reminds residents that some of the waste in garages, basements and sheds is hazardous and cannot be safely left at the curb for pickup.

Residents can safely dispose of many kinds of household hazardous waste by returning them to participating local retailers during regular business hours. For a list of retailers who accept returns of household hazardous waste, please visit ottawa.ca.

Residents can drop off a maximum of 100 litres of household hazardous waste at no charge. Residential electronic waste is also accepted at this site. No commercial waste will be accepted.

For more information on waste management and recycling, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

Wild Parsnip Management

Every year, at this time, I promote awareness for wild parsnip.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this poisonous plant, wild parsnip is a noxious weed that is commonly found throughout the region in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as residential properties.

It is rarely found in regularly maintained urban environments; however, it is prominent in rural areas and suburban areas where grass cutting is not completed as frequently, and can then be spread to adjacent maintained areas such as parks, pathways, and, in some cases, private property.

Wild parsnip poses some health and environmental threats including:

  • Toxic sap found in wild parsnip leaves, stems and flowers can cause severe skin rashes and blisters when it comes in contact with the skin in the presence of sunlight. Sap can present both direct and indirect health risks as clothing, and equipment can remain sources of exposure.
  • Wild parsnip’s ability to rapidly regenerate reduces native plants’ abilities to compete for space, which in turn reduces biodiversity.
  • Incidences of wild parsnip pose potential negative impacts to residents and field operations staff alike as it continues to spread year over year.

In past years, the City has been limited to cutting areas where wild parsnip grows as a means of managing the invasive species. However, I am happy to report that, this year, the Public Works Department will implement a Wild Parsnip Strategy to test the effectiveness of various methods to control and reduce wild parsnip on City property.

My focus, in recent years, has been on education and awareness. The more people who know what wild parsnip is, the less likely residents will have a negative experience. After working with staff, and consulting with neighbouring municipalities as well as the Ministry of the Environment, toward a management plan, I am very pleased that we are taking a more aggressive approach in dealing with this noxious weed. For more information about wild parsnip, please visit rideaugoulbourn.ca/wildparsnip.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.