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Recycling organic waste at home

As of July 1, 2022 all food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings must be placed together in your organic waste container (for most customers this was formerly your yard/green waste container). Organic waste is collected weekly for all customers. The new recycling program is required by state law, Senate Bill 1383, which mandates all organic waste be diverted from the landfill and recycled to reduce greenhouse gases generated by landfills, particularly methane. Californians throw away nearly 6 million tons of food scraps each year, accounting for 15-20% of all landfilled material, and the new program will turn these food scraps into a nutrient dense compost.

To help transition customers into the new program, the City of Sacramento is offering City residents a kitchen food waste pail to collect food scraps and food-soiled paper for curbside organic waste recycling. To find out how to get a food scrap pail for your home, please contact and provide your address. We will be giving out one pail per household while supplies last. Property managers of apartment complexes requesting multiple pails should email

Please note there will be a limited number of pails at the following events, and we may run out before the end of the event running time. 

Stop by our booth at the Sacramento Pride Festival!

The entrance to the festival is located at the intersection of Capitol Mall and 7th Street. We'll be giving out pails and more while supplies last (one per household).

Saturday, June 10, 2023, 12:00-9:00pm

Sunday, June 11, 2023, 12:00-6:00pm

You don't need a specific pail to collect your food scraps and food-soiled paper for recycling. You can use a bowl, paper bag, BPI-certified compostable plastic bag, or repurposed kitchen container such as a coffee tin or yogurt tub to collect food scraps (it can be kept under the sink or in the refrigerator or freezer). You can purchase a variety of food scrap pails online. 

Each City household is eligible for one pail. Available while supplies last.

Photo of kitchen food scrap pail 

The pail best fits a 2- or 3-gallon bag but can be used without a bag or you can line it with paper. Only compostable bags made of BPI-certified plastic may be used. We will be giving one roll of compostable plastic bags with each pail. There are multiple online retailers who sell BPI-certified compostable bags as well as many local Sacramento stores. If you would like more information on where to get compostable plastic bags locally, contact

The dimensions of the pail are: Width: 11”, Height: 9.5”, Depth: 8.5”

Check out our organics video PSAs to answer some frequently asked questions! 

If you would like to download an informational brochure, please see below. 

Tips for Collecting Food Waste

Reciclaje de residuos alimentarios en casa


Утилизация домашних пищевых отходов

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Tái Chế Rác Thải Thực Phẩm tại Nhà



How to collect food scraps in the kitchen

  • Remove stickers, twist ties, rubber bands, and plastic wrap from food scraps
  • Use a repurposed kitchen container (with a lid) or pail to collect food scraps and food-soiled paper. You can also collect them in a paper bag which is compostable.
  • Line the kitchen container with a paper bag/towel, newspaper or compostable bag (Biodegradable Products Institute [BPI] certified/meets ASTM D6400 standards)
  • Store the kitchen container in a convenient location (under sink, on the countertop, or in the refrigerator or freezer)
  • Empty into the organic waste container when it is full, and every night before collection day.  

Food waste flyer

Sac food waste flyer

Be careful of storm drains. Don't use pesticides in the containers.

If needed, rinse containers into landscaped areas only and avoid discharging to storm drain systems and neighboring properties.