In 2017, the National Post reported on how the Ottawa tree industry was struggling, as the federal government was pushing ahead with a plan to buy off thousands of tree trees that had been left to rot in the city.
The trees were destined for a landfill.
But when the federal and provincial governments signed a deal to sell off the trees to a private company, Ottawa decided it would use the money to repair the city’s iconic Christmas tree on Parliament Hill.
The tree is now in storage in a Toronto warehouse, awaiting a new design.
Ottawa’s recycling plan was applauded by the city, but its implementation has been criticized by residents.
(David Donnelly/CBC) In 2017 the National Press-Telegram reported on the impact of Ottawa’s Christmas tree recycling plan on the city: In Ottawa, the trees were to be recycled in a private yard for free and then sold off to a recycler, whose proceeds would be used to repair tree damage.
Ottawa did not buy or sell the trees from the city or the province and it did not provide details of the private company to which it was sold.
The story said Ottawa’s plan “raised questions about whether the plan’s goal of recycling thousands of trees would be achieved.”
In 2018, the Ottawa Citizen reported on Ottawa’s “greenest city” project: In February, the city announced plans to buy back hundreds of trees, and to create a $5 million fund to purchase trees from city-owned property.
In the first two years, Ottawa will purchase trees at an average price of $2,200.
Over the course of four years, the money will be invested in improving the parks, including the tree removal program.
The city said the plan would not require the purchase of trees.
The plan was welcomed by residents, but critics have raised concerns about the plan, such as the lack of an oversight mechanism, how much the plan will cost and the amount of money Ottawa will receive from the purchase.
A number of city councillors expressed concern about the potential negative impacts of the plan.
The Citizen wrote that “the plan could make it easier for Ottawa to dispose of unwanted trees by recycling them in the landfill, but that could also encourage more tree-busting and other illegal activities.”
The Citizen also reported that in the first year, Ottawa “will pay $1,400 to remove more than 2,000 trees from trees on the street.”
The plan has been praised by residents and has been lauded by some in the media.
But there have been concerns about its implementation.
“It’s a lot more difficult to get people to pay for a tree than it is to get them to pay to pay a fine,” said Jim O’Connor, a spokesperson for the city of Ottawa.
“If you’re a parent, you’re more concerned about what they’re going to do with the tree than what they’ve done with the city.”
The tree that’s being put back in storage at the City of Ottawa is in the storage unit at the Ottawa Civic Centre, and it is not yet ready to be returned to the city for a new replacement.
The new plan is expected to save taxpayers up to $4.5 million over four years.
The Ottawa Citizen wrote in 2017 that Ottawa had “recycled more than $100 million in public funds, including nearly $2 million in federal and state support to install solar panels in all major city parks and facilities.”
A spokesperson for city council said in a statement that Ottawa “welcomes” Ottawa’s efforts, and is “committed to ensuring the city meets its greening and recycling goals.”