Are you ready for the return of The Claw?

2018 leaf season banner

“The Claw” is back.

The City of Sacramento’s annual leaf collection service will begin Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2018 and continue until Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2019. The Recycling and Solid Waste division dispatches 10 to 15 crews using the Claw and rear loader trucks to scoop more than 54 million pounds of leaves and yard waste debris off of city streets during the months of November, December and January.


Crews work up to six days a week, rain or shine, including holidays.

All streets will have at least one collection occur between Nov. 1-10. It can take crews, on average, 10 days to complete one full leaf sweep of the city. In the early part of the season, collection may be more frequent. As leaf drop volume grows, and if wind and rainstorms occur, it can take crews up to two weeks to rotate through the entire city.

Starting Oct. 29, customers can use the Collection Calendar to see an estimate of their upcoming collection date.  The schedule is updated daily based on the volume of yard waste from the previous day, number of zones cleared, weather conditions and equipment availability. The schedule also will show when the leaf piles were most recently collected in specific neighborhoods. Customers are urged to check the calendar frequently since estimated collection dates can change often.

Millions of Pounds in Containers

Of the 54 million pounds of yard waste collected during leaf season, more than 28 million pounds is picked up during weekly container service. Filling containers first, and then creating a leaf pile, helps the city remove material faster. Weekly residential containerized yard waste collection continues year-round on a customer’s usual collection day.

Leaf Pile Guidelines

Piles should be placed six feet from any obstructions and in such a way that there is space between the curb and pile to allow water to flow to storm drains. When possible, leaf piles should be kept out of bike lanes. Leaves should not be in plastic bags. Pet waste should never be put in leaf piles or yard waste containers. Pet waste should only go in the garbage container. Branches should be cut to three feet in length or less and no more than four inches in diameter. Tree stumps are not allowed in piles.

Household Junk Pickup to go on Hiatus 

The same crews and equipment used for the Household Junk Pickup program are deployed for seasonal leaf collection during November, December and January.  The Household Junk Pickup will go on its planned hiatus effective Oct. 31, 2018. The program will resume in February 2019. Appliance & E-waste collection occurs year-round and appointments are available during leaf season.

Residents can make up to two appointments for junk pickup and two appointments for appliance/e-waste in a calendar year. More information is available at SacRecycle.

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