Wet weather, massive leaf drop cause delay in City’s pile pick-up service

While the City’s annual leaf collection service is in full swing, some residents may have noticed a delay in leaf pile pick-up.

That’s because leaf drops across the city essentially all happened at once with the recent heavy rain, said Erin Treadwell, community outreach manager for the Recycling and Solid Waste Division. City crews and Claws have been working six days a week to clear leaf piles, but unfortunately, because of the sheer weight and mass, they have not been able to keep to the goal of collecting leaves every two weeks, she said.

“We apologize for the delay,” Treadwell said. “Sacramento is experiencing a really intense leaf season this year.”

Although it hasn’t rained in the past few days, the leaf piles are still loaded with water, causing them to weigh more than dry piles. Crews must adhere to weight limits for safe operations of the vehicles. Those limits are being reached with smaller loads, Treadwell said, adding that trucks are having to make more trips and that takes more time.

According to the Recycling and Solid Waste Division, leaf piles are normally picked up once every 14 days. But because of the recent rains, it is taking crews about 20 days.

The division has charted the dramatic increase in the size and weight of piles. Last year, City Claws collected 813 tons of leaves citywide around this time period. This year, more than twice the tonnage —1,780 tons —has been collected.

To help manage leaf piles, the City recommends residents to fill their yard waste containers for weekly collection, and not just put the leaves out for street pick-up. “If you have a pile but an empty container, consider moving as much into the container as possible between claw collection days,” Treadwell said.

The City is updating its Collection Calendar each day in the evening (by 9 p.m.) for the latest information on when collection will occur. Visit sacrecycle.org for the status on neighborhood collection. You also can sign up for text alerts there about leaf collection.


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