Thanks for your patience as we continue to work through clean-up of the masses of tree debris as a result of the June storm. We understand the devastation and frustration this storm has created in terms of fallen trees and debris that has been left behind.
While Council is experiencing its own challenges in terms of removing tree debris from roads and roadsides as the clean-up continues, we are well aware of the significant challenges facing residents as they assess damage to their properties and wonder how on earth they are going to get rid of large trees and branches from their yards.
The volume of material for residents is more than they would normally clean-up using Council’s fortnightly green waste collection, and with current wet and cold conditions and green tree material, burning off is not an option.
It’s a wicked problem, and one we recognise will require a shared response between the Federal and State Governments, Council and our local communities.
The start of a solution
As a first priority, Council has focused on public safety and clearing roads to enable safe access for residents and works crews, and to make safe properties where trees from Council land were left hanging, or leaning on other trees.
Now that a lot of that work has been completed, we have been able to turn our minds to how we can provide some assistance for residents to start cleaning up tree debris on their own properties.
The challenge is big, and will require a step-by-step approach. To support residents, Council is making a start to what we know is going to be a long clean up ahead by providing the following assistance:
Special Storm Event Tree Branch Collection
Recognising that the recent storm was a very significant and unusual event, Council is providing a ‘Special Storm Event Tree Branch Collection for residents throughout the Yarra Ranges who have been impacted by the storm.
This collection will enable residents to remove bulky tree branches from their property that are up to around 200mm by 2m in length – think of the width of a football, and no longer than what could fit in a standard trailer. These branches should be left in a safe spot outside your property.
Council will organise contractors to pick up the branches over a six to eight week period. Material will then be mulched and made available for community members to pick up from designated spots. Details regarding those locations will be made available shortly.
We hope this first step will help residents reduce fuel loads on their properties before the fire season, and help you get some of your garden back! It will also help improve access to larger logs and tree stumps that will need to be dealt with later.
Guide for leaving out material
Please be mindful that the material you leave out will need to be picked up by someone manually and put in the chipper, so please keep their safety in mind.
Also spare a thought for other people in your community by ensuring the material you leave out doesn’t block roadsides and footpaths. These areas need to be left clear for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs or with prams.
This work will commence on 15 July. It will take some time for all materials to be cleared, so please be patient as we get through this work.
We expect the collection could take 6-8 weeks, which means we are all going to need to live with logs and branches out on naturestrips for some time to come until the material can be cleared. With more than 6ookm of roads in the Yarra Ranges impacted, there’s a lot to get through.
We will be in touch shortly to advise about the areas that will be collected and the order in which this work will take place. Thanks for your patience and cooperation as we work through this challenging task.
While we hope this first solution may help many residents, we also acknowledge the clean up in some parts of Yarra Ranges, particularly the Dandenongs, will be more complicated due to steep terrain and narrow roads. This will make some properties difficult to access with the heavy machinery and trucks that will be required to deal with larger trees.
Council is calling on the State and Federal Governments to help us and our community over the coming months. We need funding to enable Council to continue clearing the material we are collecting from roads and roadsides, and resources to enable the community to remove larger material off their own properties.