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Earlier Leaf Pickup In Sacramento Due To Drought

City of Sacramento / Courtesy

The City of Sacramento uses "the claw" to scoop up large loads of leaves during its leaf collection program. The tractor with the claw is seen here in a South Sacramento neighborhood in 2014.

City of Sacramento / Courtesy

The City of Sacramento's leaf pickup program is starting earlier this season. Blame it, at least partly, on the drought. 

Some Sacramento tree species are dropping their leaves earlier due to the drought. Other factors, like heat, are also reasons for the "early fall." 

Erin Treadwell with the city's Recycling and Solid Waste Division says crews will be out earlier - October 19th - to collect leaf piles. She says drought isn’t the only factor. 

"Heat is certainly one of them and we've had a hotter September and we're starting October cool, but it's supposed to heat up," says Treadwell. "So heat stress can affect trees, drought can certainly affect trees. So why one tree is dropping leaves, it can be for a variety of these reasons." 

But for many trees it's a "normal fall" so the collection season won't be shorter. 

Treadwell says leaf piles put out on the street before the program starts may be tagged as illegal dumping and fines are possible. 

"We pick up 27,000 tons of yard waste typically during a leaf season," says Treadwell. "Over half of that, about 14,000 tons, comes from the containers. And those containers are picked up weekly. So fill your containers first, then pile." 

She says this is the third year for the program, which ends January 31. It is funded by a charge on monthly garbage bills. 

Treadwell says from October 23, 2015 to January 31, 2016, Sacramento residents can get an estimate of when the next pile collection will occur in their neighborhood by going to the city's website.  

 

 


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