City of Winnipeg crews started hitting the streets Sunday night to sweep away a long winter's worth of sand, salt and grime.

The city's annual spring cleanup of its streets, sidewalks and back lanes begins Sunday evening and is expected to last four or five weeks.

Officials say crews had to use "considerably more sand and salt to improve roadway traction" this past winter compared to previous years.

As well, the spring cleanup is starting later than usual because a cooler spring kept snow on the ground longer.

"More sand and a late start had the potential to extend the time needed to complete the operation but the delayed start may work in our favour," Jim Berezowsky, manager of the city's streets maintenance division, said in a news release.

"The risk for overnight temperatures falling below freezing in May is reduced, which will allow our nighttime operations to work more efficiently in improving the appearance of our city."

Spring cleanup crews will start downtown, on regional streets and on bridges and overpasses, as well as on sidewalks along main routes, bus routes and collector streets.

Motorists should watch for temporary "no parking" signs if they want to avoid getting their vehicles ticketed or towed during the street cleaning operation.

This year's cleanup is expected to cost $4.5 million.

City workers will also be picking up litter on parks and boulevards.

And for property owners who were keen enough to clean up their yards over the weekend, the city's curbside yard waste collection schedule begins Monday.

Yard waste will be collected at the curb every two weeks, on the same collection day as recycling and garbage.

The city says residents must put their grass clippings and leaves in paper yard waste bags or in reusable containers without a lid, such as old blue boxes and garbage containers.