In-the-street yard waste collection starts Friday in Sacramento

In-the-street yard waste collection returns to Sacramento on Friday – just in time for the fall leaf drop.

Friday is the first day that Sacramento city residents may place yard waste piles out for street collection. The last day to put out piles for motorized pickup by “the Claw” will be Jan. 31, 2014.

While weekly pickups of yard waste in cans continue year-round on the same day garbage is picked up, leaf piles typically are scooped up every week or so. The city encourages residents to use the rolling containers first, and then create a pile during November, December and January if there’s a great amount of leaves, brush or grass.

The city collects 75,000 tons of yard waste each year, said Steve Harriman, the city’s integrated waste general manager.

“More than one third, about 27,000 tons, is picked up November through January,” said Harriman. “By using the container, along with the pile, our crews can clear streets faster and ‘the Claw’ may come through your neighborhood more frequently.”

The motorized leaf scooper will pick up leaves every seven to 10 days, depending on weather and the volume of yard waste in city streets.

Residents can check the city website, sacrecycle.org, to find out when the last pickup in their neighborhood occurred and the estimated date for the next one. Pickups could occur 24 hours before or 24 hours after the date listed.

City crews work in all types of weather six days a week, including holidays. The city has about 14 Claw crews working during the three-month leaf season.

Sacramento voters approved a ballot measure in 2012 that allowed the city to phase out street pickup of yard waste as a regular service. The goal was to ease the city budget by cutting back on a service that less than 10percent of residents still used on a year-round basis.

Instead, yard waste must now go in rolling containers most of the year.


•  Place the pile six feet from vehicles.

•  Makes sure the pile does not clog the gutter.

•  Do not place piles in bike lanes.

•  Do not put pet waste in any yard waste pile or container.

•  Don’t put yard waste in plastic bags.

•  Christmas trees are permitted in piles.

•  Yard waste piles on the street before Nov. 1 or after Jan. 31 may be subject to fines.

Source: City of Sacramento