Big Changes Coming to Sacramento Waste Pick Up

Service Change Overview

Cleaner Streets Program Goals

  1. Provide sufficient yard waste collection services for all city neighborhoods throughout the year
  2. Stabilize residential customer rates at current levels for a minimum of three years
  3. Reduce carbon emissions, fuel consumption, pavement impacts and mileage driven on city streets by collection vehicles
  4. Provide uniform and easily understandable programs
  5. Comply with state waste diversion mandates and all applicable health and safety requirements
  6. Provide a safer, cleaner community for all that live here.
Current Services Proposed Services
Garbage Weekly Weekly
Recyclables Weekly Bi-Weekly
Containerized yard waste collection Weekly on subscription basis 93%
(of customers)
Weekly Citywide 100%
(of customers)
Loose-in-the-street yard waste collection Periodic on subscription basis 7% (of customers) Citywide
Nov, Dec & Jan
Neighborhood Cleanup Program Suspended Feb thru Oct
Appointment based


Rates Will Stabilize at Current Levels

To maintain the current level of services, which substantially exceed those in other parts of the region, rates would have to be increased to comply with state mandates. The recommended changes will stabilize rates for three years.


Service Change Benefits

  • Better meets the needs of most customers
  • Greatly improves appearance and safety of neighborhoods and streets
  • Reduces customer confusion about programs and city collections
  • Provides substantial benefits for air quality, water quality and noise pollution


What Happens Next?

Share your input. Go to the Get Involved page to leave a comment, ask a question or take the survey. Ending loose-in-the-street pickup will require repealing Measure A, the 1977 voter-approved initiative that prevents the city from requiring residents to use containers. In June, the City Council will vote to determine if a repeal of Measure A will be added to the November 6 ballot.


Residential Yard Waste:

Sacramento is one of only three cities in California to provide year-round loose-in-the-street pickup, allowing customers to place yard waste in the street, rather than traditional containers.

The proposed program changes loose-in-the-street pickup by:

  • Mandating yard waste containers for all residents, changing the service for about 7% of current customers.
  • Providing regular loose-in-the-street pickup for all customers from November through January, in addition to the weekly containerized yard waste pickup.

The change to citywide containerized yard waste will greatly minimize unsightly and unsafe piles of yard waste and leaves in the street. These piles can be hazardous to bikers and walkers. By eliminating these piles nine months of the year, our streets and neighborhoods will be cleaner and more attractive. Additionally, drains will be clear from debris, minimizing the localized flooding that often occurs during the rainy season. These changes clarify the loose-in-the-street program and reduce confusion. Even with the changes, city residents will continue to have the highest level of yard waste service in the Sacramento region.

This change involves repealing Measure A, the 1977 voter-approved initiative that prevents the city from requiring residents to use containers. In June, the City Council will vote to determine if a repeal of Measure A will be added to the November 6 ballot.

Residential Recycling:

Recycling will change from weekly to bi-weekly pickup following the program used by cities in Sacramento County. This change saves significant money and has a positive impact on the environment. Each year, this change:

  • Saves about $1 million.
  • Saves 83,000 gallons of fuel.
  • Reduces 87,000 miles of vehicle travel.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 186 tons.

Neighborhood Cleanup:

The city will offer annual, by-appointment pickup of household bulk items like excessive yard waste, old furniture and appliances (five cubic yards total). The first appliance is complimentary, additional appliance pick up will involve a slight fee. The program will run from February through October.

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2 Responses to Big Changes Coming to Sacramento Waste Pick Up

  1. Julie says:

    I am against the Repeal of Measure A! This is a joke! The claims of what good it will do (saving money and better for the environment) don’t justify the end result of what is really going to happen.

    I think it is completely outrageous to take away regular street pick-up of green waste. Especially when I am willing to pay the extra fee. The home that I live in belonged to my grandparents. Their home was the 5th house built in River Park. They were lifetime members of the Sacramento Garden Club. There are over 50 camellia bushes (prize winning) in the backyard along with many other plants. The oak tree in the front yard is over 60 years old and is beautiful. I try my best to keep the yard looking great! Needless to say, I have way too many clippings than can fit in the little green waste bin. Not to mention that it is difficult to lift the waste into the bin. The bin is rather pointless really. Street pick-up is necessary and that is why I opted out of the bin over a year ago and pay extra for weekly street pick-up. Several of my immediate neighbors in River Park do as well. Do not take away our right to this service!

    If street pick-up of green waste is to become extremely limited, sadly I think a lot of the beautiful yards in East Sacramento will take a turn for the worse. If we are mandated to only use the bin, I think it will discourage people from maintaining their yards. Where are we supposed to put all of our green waste? People will let their yards become over grown and messy or possibly rip everything out because there is nowhere to put all their green waste anymore. That would be tragic. Property values of homes could take a dive as a result of the neglect. Also, when yards get out of control, that leaves more nesting spots for unwelcomed critters (skunks, possums, rats) to make a home. I don’t mind if they wander through my yard from time to time, but I don’t want them taking up permanent residency.

    The claims that regular street pick-up is too expensive or will double or triple in the next few years is ridiculous! The City of Sacramento and City Hall had better get their priorities in order! They are willing to waste our money on a new arena, but are not taking care of our roads, our schools, our parks, city pools or community centers??? It is only due to the hard work and extreme measures of outstanding East Sacramento residents that our pools are open part time and they are trying to save Clunie Center. We even set up our own neighborhood volunteer days to clean up our local parks because the City is “broke” and can no longer maintain them themselves. What the heck is wrong with these people? Now they want to refuse to pick up the green waste from all of us who try to keep our homes and yards looking nice? I’m sure there is a lot of unnecessary spending made by the City that could be cut or reduced instead. Crazy!!

    How about I just bring all my yard clippings and recyclables and dump them in front of City Hall each week? Would that be better?

    I hope that others in East Sacramento will agree with me that this is outrageous!


  2. kris says:

    I agree with Julie. Several blooming shrubs and trees must be trimmed when their blooming cycle is complete, frequently early Spring. If trimming is delayed until the city’s desired November, December, or January pickup, these shrubs and trees will not likely bloom or bloom significantly less. Likewise, many fruit trees must be trimmed when they complete their fruiting season, frequently early to mid-Summer. Some evergreen trees need to be tended 12 months a year such as Camphor trees. Nature does not follow the city’s desired pick-up times. It is unconscionable that the city council of the City of Trees would make such a decision.