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Sacramento curbside leaf pickup returns early

Sacramento’s leaf pickups in the streets will start Oct. 19 this year and continue through January.
Sacramento’s leaf pickups in the streets will start Oct. 19 this year and continue through January. Sacramento Bee file

Due to drought-induced leaf drop, curbside pickup in Sacramento will come clawing back two weeks early this season.

Sacramento plans to modify its leaf season pickup using the Claw vehicles by changing the date residents can legally put out leaf piles. Collection begins on Oct. 19, instead of Nov. 1, and ends on the normal date of Jan. 31, 2016.

The reason for the change is leaves dropping to the ground earlier than usual.

Joe Benassini, the city’s urban forester, said in a press release that drought can cause early leaf drop.

“However it is also difficult to distinguish between leaf drop due to drought, versus heat response, vs. other problems,” Benassini said. “There will likely be an increase in early leaf fall to some degree but not overwhelming. There are still many perfectly healthy trees that will drop normally, so the season will not be shorter.”

About 27,000 tons of yard waste are scooped up on streets or dumped into city trucks from green cans filled by city residents during leaf season. Residents should still fill the wheeled green cans first, then place the excess curbside.

Container service occurs weekly, while Claw crews take an average of up to two weeks to complete a sweep of the city. All streets will have at least one pickup by the claw between Oct. 19 and Oct. 30.

Beginning Oct. 23, residents can get an estimate of when the next Claw visit will occur in their neighborhood by visiting www.sacrecycle.org.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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