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Yard waste

OrganicS & Yard Waste

Curbside collection of containerized organic waste occurs weekly. All residential properties in the City of Sacramento must use containers for organic waste recycling.  No food waste or food-soiled paper should be placed in the street at any time but only disposed of in the curbside organic waste container. Yard waste must not be placed in the street - except during leaf season from November - January. Customers who need additional organic waste service can contact Customer Service at 3-1-1 (or 916-264-5011 outside City limits) or use the free Household Junk Pickup program.

Organics Recycling

The organic waste container (formerly the yard/green waste container) should be used to recycle food waste, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings. These materials will be mixed in the same container and turned into a nutrient rich compost. 

Acceptable Organic Waste Materials

  • Fruit and vegetable peels, pits, fruit stones, seeds, tops, rinds, scraps, trimmings, pith, stalks, nuts, shells
  • Meat, poultry, seafood, shrimp, shells, fish, chicken, skin, bones, ribs, dairy, eggshells
  • Grain, pasta, pizza, bread, baked goods, coffee grounds, leftovers, spoiled food, pet food
  • Soiled napkins, paper towels, uncoated used paper plates, greasy pizza boxes, food-contaminated paper (including newspaper and paper bags)
  • Coffee filters, tea bags (no plastic), wooden toothpicks, wooden disposable chopsticks, natural wine corks
  • Plants, flowers, grass, leaves, branches, trees, twigs, mulch, chipped wood, raw wood (untreated and unpainted)
  • Paper bags, BPI-certified compostable plastic bags 

Not Acceptable Organic Waste Materials 

Most of these items will go in the garbage. Check out the Waste Wizard if you're not sure where an item goes.
  • Plastic or plastic bags
  • Metal or glass (recyclable metal, glass and plastic should go in the blue mixed recycling container)
  • Styrofoam
  • Pet waste
  • Diapers
  • Liquids
  • Treated or painted wood waste
  • Paper gable top containers with plastic or wax coating (such as milk containers)
  • Foil-lined paper boxes (such as soup and soymilk-type boxes)
  • Paper takeout containers with a plastic or wax lining or coating
  • Single-use utensils, coffee pods, and takeout containers made from compostable plastic (the level of processing required to break down compostable rigid plastic is not available for the City of Sacramento at this time)
  • To-go coffee cups (these typically have a plastic lining which is not compostable)
  • Hygienic tissue and toilet paper (these are biohazards and go in the garbage)
  • Cooking oil (FOG goes in the garbage)

"When in doubt, throw it out!"

For more information check here.

Leaf Season

Citywide collection of yard waste piles will occur only in November, December and January. Please fill your organic waste container first before placing extra material out in a pile in front of your residence. Only place yard waste on the street for pickup and no food waste. More information is available on our Leaf Season page.

Acceptable Yard Waste Materials

  • Leaves
  • Grass trimmings and plants
  • Tree and shrub pruning - limbs must be cut to three feet or less in length and no more than four inches in diameter.
  • Christmas Trees (with decorations removed)
  • Sod (with dirt removed)

Unacceptable Leaf Pile Materials

  • Trash and debris
  • Pet feces
  • Excessive amount of dirt
  • Lumber and concrete
  • Food waste and food-soiled paper (these should go in the organic waste curbside container)

Other Yard Waste Resources