City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 19, 2012
VIDEO: Big changes are afoot for The Claw in Sacramento

The Claw may be on the verge of hibernation.

A proposal to be considered by the City Council on Tuesday would call for Sacramento's quirky leaf-collecting machine to be shelved all but three months of the year. At the same time, the city could require all residents to use bins to collect green waste.

First, city residents must repeal 1977's Measure A, which prohibits the city from requiring green bins. The council is expected to place a measure on the November ballot to repeal Measure A.

Very few people - about 7 percent of city households - still rely on The Claw for their weekly leaf pick-up. City officials said the machine is a financial and environmental strain.

Under the plan being considered, The Claw would still roam city streets in November, December and January - when leaf pick-up is at its peak. Residents could also schedule pick-ups the rest of the year.

Another big change under consideration would scale back collection of recyclables from every week to every other week. That move would save the city about $1 million a year.

City officials are also considering getting out of the commercial waste collection business. Fewer than 8 percent of commercial properties in Sacramento use city waste collection services.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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