Street Sweeping

Palo Alto streets are being swept weekly beginning October 14, 2019. Bi-weekly sweeping will resume approximately February 17, 2020, but this date is subject to change based on observed leaf fall.

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.

2019-20 Schedule

Leaf Season
(weekly sweeping)
Begins October 14, 2019
Non-Leaf Season
(every other week sweeping)
Tentatively scheduled to resume February 17, 2020

Residents and light commercial, use the map below to determine your street sweeping day:
Monday = Yellow
Tuesday = Lavender
Wednesday = Pink
Thursday = Green
Friday = Blue
Mon/Wed/Fri = Red to Blue

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

Street Sweeping Map

Street Sweeping Map
Click to view as PDF

Reason for Schedule 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.

For further questions, please contact Public Services at (650) 496-6974 or

Street Sweeping Ordinances

Reporting Spills, Dumping, and Back-Ups