Street Sweeping

Street Sweeping
Street sweeping keeps our community clean and safe by removing the dirt, metals, petroleum products, garbage and vegetation that regularly collect on our streets and paths. Removing these materials is important because they could end up in our storm drains and eventually into our creeks and the San Francisco Bay. Keeping the storm drains clear not only helps to reduce pollution, but also reduces the likelihood of flooding during heavy rain.

Service Guidelines
Street sweepers cannot pick up large pieces or piles. To ensure a clean street:

  • Avoid piling leaves or other debris in the street or gutter.
  • Do not rake, sweep, blow leaves, or other debris in the street or gutter.
  • Keep palm fronds and long twigs and branches out of the street or gutter.
  • Pick up litter in front of your home or business.
  • Park your vehicles off the street on your designated sweep day.
  • Prune trees and shrubs so that they do not block the street sweepers from reaching the curb line.
  • During rains, prevent flooding by raking leaves off storm drain grates.

Street Sweeping Schedule
Palo Alto’s residential and light commercial street sweeping schedule changes from weekly during leaf season (mid-October to mid-February) to every other week during non-leaf season. The exact date of service changes will be based on the observed leaf fall.

 2015 Schedule Change

 Non-Leaf Season
(every other week sweeping)     
 Week of February 16, 2015      
 Leaf Season
(weekly sweeping)

The University/California Avenue business areas will continue to be swept three times per week and El Camino Real will continue to be swept weekly year-round.

Residents and light commercial, use the map below to determine your street sweeping day and whether your are in section A or B. During non-leaf season, use the non-leaf season street sweeping schedule table to determine your sweeping week.

Street Sweeping Map

Click to view as PDF

2015 Non-Leaf Season Street Sweeping Schedule

A Weeks

B Weeks

Week of February 16

Week of February 23

Week of March 2

Week of March 9

Week of March 16

Week of March 23

Week of March 30

Week of April 6

Week of April 13

Week of April 20

Week of April 27

Week of May 4

Week of May 11

Week of May 18

Week of May 25

Week of June 1

Week of June 8

Week of June 15

Week of June 22

Week of June 29

Week of July 6

Week of July 13

Week of July 20

Week of July 27

Week of August 3

Week of August 10

Week of August 17

Week of August 24

Week of August 31

Week of September 7

Week of September 14

Week of September 21

Week of September 28

Week of October 5

Week of October 12*

Week of October 19*

*Last two weeks subject to change based on observed leaf fall

Reason for Change

A 2013 pilot project demonstrated that the City could reduce the frequency of sweeping in these areas to every-other-week during non-leaf season without adverse impacts to the public or the environment. There are environmental benefits to reducing the frequency – the City will realize a 22% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equaling approximately 37 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. This change is also estimated to save the City approximately $649,000 annually. A monthly Refuse Fee reduction of $1.40 per customer was passed on to rate payers beginning November 1, 2014. Please refer to staff report #4892 for more details.

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2015
Street Sweeping Ordinances
The following ordinances describe what actions are violations and may result in enforcement. Advise gardeners not to blow out tree leaves and landscaping debris or other matter into the gutter!

Reporting Spills, Dumping, and Back-Ups
If you notice any unusual substance in or around a storm drain, or if you see someone dumping anything into the storm drain, street, or gutter, to local creeks or the Bay, or elsewhere in the outdoor environment, call 650-329-2413 immediately!