The Environment

For environmental topics, please email enquiries to environment (at)

Native Trees and Shrubs database
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Rideau-Rockcliffe battling invasive insect

What's this about? Read the full article in "Ottawa this Week – East Edition" contributed by Michelle Nash on February 10, 2011.

Green Bins

Did you know that 35% of Ottawa’s residential waste is organic and could be composted? The Green Bin program is a new initiative that will divert that organic material from the landfill and instead, use it to make compost. The City will start delivering Green Bins and kitchen containers to approximately 220,000 households in Ottawa between September and December of this year. Pickup of organics will start in January 2010. By using the green bin, we can make a real difference by helping to extend the life of the City landfills and reducing greenhouse gases by redirecting organics from landfill. Green bins are easy to use. Just as recyclable materials are put into black or blue bins, the new Green Bin program will involve separating organics for curb-side pickup. The Green Bin program will accept organic materials such as kitchen scraps (vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, bones, dairy products, coffee grounds and filters) and other organic household materials such as kitty litter, paper or wood shaving animal bedding, food-soiled pizza boxes, paper towels, napkins and tissues. Ottawa will be collecting leaf and yard material (weeds, fruit, twigs, hedge trimmings, end of season plants etc.) along with the organics, thus maintaining aerobic conditions within the collected materials, reducing the potential for odours. However, diapers, personal sanitary products or plastics of any kind, including plastics that are labeled “recyclable” or “compostable” may not be placed in the Green Bin. Once collected, the organic material will be transported to a state-of-the-art, indoor composting facility where it will be converted into nutrient-rich compost ideal for agricultural use.\ A new waste collection calendar will provide additional details in preparation for the January startup. For more information on the City of Ottawa’s Green Bin program, visit

Reduce Rockcliffe’s Environmental Impact – Join a Local Ecological Footprint Reduction Project

green_houseRockcliffe Park residents are invited to become part of a neighbourhood project studying ways to help households reduce their environmental impact. A local Lindenlea firm, Jane Thompson Architect, has received a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) grant to complete a year-long study involving volunteer households from Cardinal Glen, Lindenlea, Lowertown, Manor Park, New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, and. Volunteer households would be involved as follows:

1. Each household measures its environmental footprint using an online calculator (which takes 30-60 minutes to complete).

2. Tips to reduce household environmental footprints are provided through the online calculator, community information sessions and email tips. Each household implements any of the tips that make sense for them and records any actions they have taken as the study progresses.

3. At the end of the year, each household recalculates their environmental footprint again and compares utility bills to see the effects of any changes they have made.

4. For the time stressed household, the minimum effort would be the two environmental footprint calculations with additional time and effort as each household chooses.

5. The results of this project will be published as a CMHC research study, and copies of the results will be made available to participants upon request. All information gathered about individual households and their results will be kept confidential.

The Environment Committee of the RPRA has endorsed this study and encourages Rockcliffe Park residents to take part. Not only will participating households likely reduce their yearly energy bills, but their environmental footprint will be lessened as well – a win for all around. If you are interested in taking part or would like further information please contact Magda Goemans at 613-260-1003 or, or Jane Thompson at 613-747-8104 or Download and print the pdfinformation poster. They will provide information on how to access the online footprint calculator and other pertinent details about the study and local involvement. As part of this project, the Environment Committee will host an energy-related presentation on November 4 at the Community Hall. Details will be announced in the October newsletter and the RPRA website.

Iola Price and Jane Newcombe

Garbage Collection and Recycling

recycleGarbage and recycling pickup is on Monday. The city provides a collection calendar in May and it describes what is picked up and when. Rockcliffe Park is in Collection Zone A. If you need extra copies of the calendar, call 311 to have one sent to you. Put your garbage and recycling boxes at the roadside before 7 am. We have a large and skilled racoon population so please use tightly covered racoon-proof garbage containers (metal is best). Uncontained plastic bags are often opened and the contents scattered overnight. The black box is for paper and cardboard only. The alternate week is for the blue box and the waste collection calendar lists what to place in it. Extra recycling boxes are available at a modest cost at many hardware stores. Wine, beer bottles and beer cans and some alcohol containers may be returned for cash at the Beer Store (closest one is near the corner of Montreal Road. and St. Laurent Boulevard.). Large appliances will not be collected. They may be donated to various charities or taken to one of the city’s “Take it Back” partners (see the City website for details).

The waste calendar lists the locations and dates for special hazardous waste collections.

Please recycle and compost as much kitchen and yard waste as possible. There are city and provincial waste-reduction targets that we are asked to meet in order to conserve the remaining space in solid-waste landfill sites. Easy to use composter bins may be purchased at our local Home Hardware on Beechwood. The City’s instructional pamphlet on composting is available at the Community Police Centre.


Garden Waste


Leaf and garden waste is collected in brown compostable bags during the spring, summer and fall by the City on the same day as the black box (paper and cardboard) collection. Cut branches into four-foot lengths and tie in easily handled bundles for collection on the same day. Please remove large stones.

Pesticide and Fertilizer Use

The former Village had a policy of not using chemical insecticides or herbicides on its land, and the City has a similar policy. The Environment Committee of the RPRA encourages everyone to use an organic method of weed and pest control and to support the concept of a by-law that would restrict the cosmetic use of herbicides and other pesticides on lawns and gardens. The groundwater infiltration of chemical fertilizers is affecting water quality in the Pond and Lake by altering the nutrient balance of the water and encouraging the growth of algae and other water weeds. Therefore, to preserve these bodies of water, the Environment Committee promotes the use of organic compost or lawn clippings rather than chemicals to fertilize lawns and gardens.


Pesticide Ban Takes Effect

By Ismene Wood and Iola Price

An Act to ban the cosmetic uses of pesticides comes into force in Ontario on Earth Day, April 22, 2010. It is interesting to recall that in 1997, the former Village Council of Rockcliffe Park endorsed a ban on the use of pesticides on Village municipal lands and urged residents to do the same.

The new Ontario ban prohibits the sale and use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on lawns, gardens, parks and school yards, and includes many herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, including 2,4-D and Mecocrop, commonly used to control dandelions in lawns. Close to 250 products and 80 ingredients will not be allowed if their use is cosmetic or non-essential. Pesticides have now been divided into 11 classes and homeowners may purchase and use only some of them.

Refer to for the names of pesticide ingredients in these classes. Homeowners and gardeners can log onto here for information on newer and safe methods of gardening and lawn care. Not all products will be banned – those containing no pesticide other than soap, silicon dioxide (also known as diatomaceous earth) and mineral oil are still available for sale and use. Other exceptions include products for killing stinging insects, fighting mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus and controlling poison ivy and other plants poisonous to the touch, although there may be requirements to hire licensed pesticide perform the applications. Licensed operators will be using new signs to indicate areas that have been sprayed and property owners may not remove these signs until a certain time has passed. Additional information can be found here and Pesticides have been found in half the foods eaten by Europeans and similar data exist for North America. There is now support for a European Union directive that will phase out 22 of the most dangerous pesticide ingredients. The first ones to be targeted for elimination are those known to cause cancer or birth defects, or reduce fertility.



Water Use

Please use water wisely by adjusting your sprinkler system to use less water and by avoiding watering during the day and not watering your lawn and garden needlessly. Consider “drought resistant “ flowers and ground cover. Rain barrels connected to roof downspouts are encouraged as a source of water for gardens but screen them to prevent mosquito breeding.




There are restrictions on outdoor noise. Common sense, respect for neighbours and the Ottawa noise by-law are your guides. Decibel levels for each activity are specified in the by-law on the City website.

Power tools, such as lawnmowers, leaf-blowers, chain saws etc., may be used only after 9 am on Sundays, and statutory holidays. On weekdays and Saturday permitted hours of use are 7 am to 9 pm. Noise from construction work is allowed only between 7 am and 10 pm on weekdays and Saturdays and not until 9 am on Sundays. Music and other amplified sound is permitted from 7 am until 11 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, but not before noon on Sundays.

Owners of pets should be aware that the persistent barking of dogs is prohibited at all times.




streetIf you have outdoor security lights, please ensure that they do not shine onto the neighbour’s property.

Neighbourhood Watch encourages all residents to leave their porch lights on during the evening to provide improved security and to use a low-wattage compact fluorescent bulb to save energy.












The posted speed-limit within the Village is 40 kph on major streets and we encourage everyone to travel no more than that speed on all streets. Give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. Slow down in Rockcliffe Park! The parking time-limit on streets is three hours in unsigned areas. In winter, overnight street parking is not allowed.






petsYou are required to clean up after your pet. Good neighbours ensure that this by-law is always observed, especially around McKay Lake and the Pond and other public places in the Village. Dog excrement should be disposed of in the toilet and not in the garbage containers placed at the walkway entrances to the McKay Lake COPP or at the Pond.

Dog and cat registration licences are mandatory and are renewable each year for a modest fee. They may be purchased at Ottawa City Hall on 110 Laurier St. West or on line at Owners are required to show proof of their pets’ rabies vaccinations. Another by-law states that pets must always be under the control of their owner, although not necessarily on a leash. However, pets must be on a leash in the NCC Rockeries and in the COPP. For environmental, health, and safety reasons, dogs are not permitted to swim in either McKay Lake or the Pond.

Please do not let your cat roam free on your neighbours’ properties. Please keep cats under close control in the spring, summer and fall as they kill large numbers of songbirds.


Swimming Pools and Fences

Swimming pools require a building permit and a protective fence must be built around the pool before the pool is filled with water. A permit is required to install any fence and there are height restrictions described in the city’s by-law.