City of Cedar Rapids wraps up tree debris collection

Cedar Rapids, April 2021. — Izabela Zaluska/Little Village

The City of Cedar Rapids has wrapped up its tree debris collection almost 11 months after the 2020 derecho. This city’s free services included curbside collection, street tree removals, removing uprooted stumps and root balls, and a pick-up through alleys.

City workers removed 4 million cubic yards of tree debris in the months following the devastating Aug. 10 derecho, according to a news release from the city. Any remaining tree debris should be taken to the Linn County Solid Waste Agency.

Tree debris won’t be allowed to remain at the curb, the city said. Property owners who are unable to remove the debris can call Waypoint Services at 319-366-7999. The community services nonprofit will help connect residents with community services and volunteers to assist with debris removal.

The city plans to publish a timeline to let residents know the dates by which curbside debris must be removed. After that, any remaining debris may trigger the city’s nuisance abatement process.

Additional city debris cleaning continues, including grinding down right-of-way stumps and backfilling holes left behind after the removal of large root balls. Stump removal will continue throughout the summer and into the fall, and stump grinding will be a multi-year process with more than 8,000 stumps needing to be ground.

Debris and mulch haul sites are being cleaned and restored, and will be freshly seeded this fall.

The derecho destroyed about 65 percent of Cedar Rapids’ tree canopy.

The city has been working with local nonprofit Trees Forever, city planner and urban designer Jeff Speck and landscape architecture firm Confluence to replant trees around the city. ReLeaf Cedar Rapids is a multimillion-dollar, 10-to-15-year reforestation effort.

In Wednesday’s news release, the city said trees have been replanted at Redmond and Cleveland parks, with efforts planned or underway at Noelridge, Cherry Hill and Hughes parks.

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