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Starting July 1, 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. 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 customers a kitchen food waste pail to collect food scraps and food-soiled paper for curbside organic waste recycling. Kitchen pails (pictured below) are available for pickup at seven community centers located throughout the City.

We have extended the pail giveaway through Friday, October 14th. This will be the last day pails can be picked up at any community center. Registration is required. You can pick up a pail for a friend or family member who registered if you have their confirmation email. Check for available pickup appointments at the registration link (also below). Property managers seeking bulk orders and customers with disabilities or mobility issues should contact to request their pails. 

You don't need a kitchen 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. More tips are below on how to collect food scraps for recycling. You can also purchase a variety of food scrap pails online. 

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

Sample food waste collection 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. If you would like to purchase compostable bags online, the City of Sacramento has a coupon for the BioBag brand available here.

The dimensions of the pail are as follows: 

Width: 11”

Height: 9.5”

Depth: 8.5”

Residents must register to pickup a pail, and bring their confirmation to the pickup (paper copy or digital). If picking up multiple pails for friends/neighbors/etc., please have them register and bring their confirmation emails. This way we can ensure we have the inventory at your pickup location.

Please use this link to register.

You will first be asked to confirm your address is eligible (within City limits), then a link will pop up to a short registration form and you will be able to view pickup dates and locations and make your choice. 

If you are having issues with the form or have questions, please email If you would like to download an informational brochure, please see below. 

Tips for Collecting Food Waste Brochure

Reciclaje de residuos alimentarios en casa


Утилизация домашних пищевых отходов

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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.