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Clawing away at yard waste begins in Sacramento

City worker Kenny Nelson maneuvers "The Claw" into position as he prepares to pick up a pile of yard trimmings in Curtis Park on Monday, October 19, 2015, in Sacramento, Calif. The Claw is back, picking up yard trimmings throughout the city starting today and continuing through January.
City worker Kenny Nelson maneuvers "The Claw" into position as he prepares to pick up a pile of yard trimmings in Curtis Park on Monday, October 19, 2015, in Sacramento, Calif. The Claw is back, picking up yard trimmings throughout the city starting today and continuing through January. rpench@sacbee.com

Due to drought-induced leaf drop, seasonal curbside pickup in Sacramento began again Monday – two weeks early.

Sacramento modified its leaf season pickup using the claw vehicles by changing the date residents can legally put out leaf piles. Collection began Monday, rather than Nov. 1, and is scheduled to end on the normal date of Jan. 31.

The reason for the change is that leaves are 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.

About 27,000 tons of yard waste are scooped up on streets or dumped into city trucks from green cans filled by residents during leaf season. The city says 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 by Oct. 30.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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