By Macy Jenkins

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — We’ve all see them. Piles and piles of leaves taking up space in Sacramento neighborhoods. And homeowners say it’s the worst they’ve seen in years.

“It’s the parking!” said Barbara Malakoff, who lives in Land Park. “Between the garbage cans and the leaves on the street, you can’t get parking around here!”

The Department of Public Works says they’re behind on leaf pickup and they’re scrambling to catch up. Homeowners have been complaining about this for weeks and now they’re asking the city: when is the claw coming to my neighborhood?

“Nobody’s picking them up,” Malakoff said. “They’re just filling the gutters!”

From Land Park to East Sacramento, the piles are impossible to miss.

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“Being kind of in a busy street, it takes up a lot of parking spaces,” said Laura Walcott.

According to Public Works, the claw is a bit behind.

“We’re not where we want to be,” said Erin Treadwell, Public Works Manager.

Treadwell told CBS13 the pickup trucks typically make their rounds every 14 days. But right now, they’re averaging 20 days between pickups. Why? Just ask Mother Nature.

“It’s the most intense leaf drop we’ve seen in about six years!” Treadwell said.

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Add late November rain to the equation and bam – there’s a pickup backlog across the city.

“It’s been the water weight that’s been particularly problematic,” Treadwell said. “We can’t load our trucks to their full capacity.”

From Dec. 1 to 11 in 2017, crews collected 800 tons of leaves. During the same time period this year, that number has more than doubled to 1700 hundred tons!

Treadwell says you can expedite pickup with one extra step.

“Putting leaves in your yard waste container would certainly help,” she said. “It could probably clear up at least one parking spot for those areas.”

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But the city understands that it’s been a hassle for homeowners.

“We are sincerely sorry that there have been these delays,” Treadwell said.

And while Walcott appreciates the apology, she says it’s not a problem she can’t handle.

“It’s the city of trees so you’re gonna have a lot of leaves,” she said. “You’re just gonna have to live with it.”

If you want to know when the claw is coming to your neighborhood, you can check out the SacRecycle Collection Calendar for an estimated pickup date. It’s updated every morning.


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