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complete the Service Guide Organics Recycling Survey


The City of Sacramento implemented its organic waste recycling program in July 2022, in accordance with the statewide mandate, Senate Bill 1383. More information on SB 1383 and the organic waste recycling program can be found at

The answers to some questions will depend on where the resident lives and their waste hauler. To determine if you are a residential or commercial customer please see below.

Residential customers live at properties of up to four units (including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes)Condominiums and mobile homes are also City of Sacramento residential customers. Trash containers will say “City of Sacramento.

Commercial customers live in multi-family apartments of five units or more. Trash containers will have a hauler name such as Atlas, Republic, or Waste Management. 

What does the organic recycling program mean for residents?

Residential:  As of July 1, 2022, residents must recycle all food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings in the organic waste container (formerly the yard/green waste container).

Commercial: Apartment buildings of five units or more are also required to have organics recycling service as of January 2022. If your apartment building does not have 

How do I get an organic waste container if I don't have one?

Residential: Customers who don’t currently have an organic waste container should contact Customer Service at 3-1-1. More information on these customers can be found here

Commercial: An organic waste container should be provided by the commercial hauler who services your building. Contact us at if your apartment building does not have mixed and organics recycling. 

What if I don't want organic waste service?

Residential:  Organic recycling service is required and the City is not offering exemptions at this time. For more information, please check here

Commercial: The new organic service is required for all residents, including those in apartment buildings serviced by commercial haulers. Your building’s property manager and hauler are responsible for providing a container for organic waste. The new law does allow, in limited cases, exemptions for commercial properties; more information is available here.

Is there a reduced rate for low-income residents?

Residential: Residential customers meeting eligibility requirements can apply for a reduced rate through the Sacramento Utility Rate Assistance (SURA) program hereThe SURA program is administered by the City’s Department of Utilities, but all aspects of the program are approved by City Council. While it is unknown at this time what Council will approve, it is anticipated that some portion of the proposed rate adjustment for the food waste recycling program would be offset by the SURA program.

Commercial: The Sacramento Utility Rate Assistance program is only for customers who receive their waste collection from the City of Sacramento. 

What goes in the organic waste container, and what still goes in the garbage container?
Organic waste includes grass clippings, leaves and yard waste, fruit and vegetable scraps, grains, coffee grounds, dairy, eggs, meat, bones, seafood, leftover food, and food-soiled paper such as coffee filters, pizza boxes, and paper napkins. There is information here on what is accepted in the organic waste container and you can download an informational brochure.  State law prohibits putting organic waste in the trash or mixed recycling container. Please dispose in the garbage: pet waste, diapers, Styrofoam, treated wood, broken ceramics, toys, worn out clothing, plastics that can't be recycled, garden hoses, single-use utensils made of compostable plastic (these are not compostable in our facilities at this time), disposable face masks, cooking oil or grease (FOG), etc. "When in doubt, throw it out." You can check the Waste Wizard to see how to dispose of materials. 
Do I need to use a compostable bag for my food waste? 

Residential: Residential customers are not required to used a bag for food waste, but if used it must be labeled BPI-Certified and meet the ASTM D6400 standard for compostability. A paper bag is always acceptable.

Commercial: Commercial customers should ask their property manager and/or commercial hauler, as different haulers have different requirements on compostable bags. All haulers accept paper bags. 

How can I prevent issues with odor, pests and hygiene?
Many issues with odor or pests can be reduced or eliminated by using a compostable bag (see above), or layering the food waste with yard trimmings or food-soiled paper. You can also store food scraps in the freezer or refrigerator and wait to put them in the organic waste container until the night before collection. Using a City-issued or similar food scrap pail (see below) with ventilation can help with many issues. For more information and tips on collecting food waste at home, check here
Where can I get a free kitchen food scrap pail?

City residents can pick up a free pail while supplies last at one of three locations listed below.  One pail per household, but you may pick up a pail for another City resident. Apartment managers needing bulk orders should email to arrange for pickup.

Please email if you receive service for customers with disabilities or have mobility issues and are unable to pick up a pail. 

  1. Outside our facility at 2812 Meadowview Road on Tuesdays from 9am-4pm. You will see a security gate and guard shack straight ahead, and in front of the guard shack you will see a table of kitchen pails. Do not pull up to the gate--you can park next to the guard shack and walk up to take your pail from the table with no contact. No proof of residency required.
  2. The Department of Utilities has a public counter at 1395 35th Avenue, open Monday – Thursday from 8am-4pm and Fridays from 8am-11:30am. Park in visitor parking, enter the lobby, and go through the door on your left. Please ask a customer service agent at the counter for a pail. No proof of residency required.
  3. Refill Madness, a retail and reuse store, is giving out pails at 1828 29th Street, Sacramento. They are open every day from 10am until 5pm or later; you can check their hours at or call 916-382-4823 for more information. You will be asked to confirm your address is within City limits.
Does the City offer compost produced by the organics recycling program to customers and/or residents? 

We are working on a program in summer/fall 2023 to give away the compost product. Currently we have compost to give away at community events and to individuals upon request. If you would like some for your home, please email us at and we'll let you know if we have any available to give away.

What if I use a garbage disposal for my food scraps?
Food scraps should go in the organic waste container. Your food waste will be turned into a beneficial compost instead of going to waste in the water stream and causing extra strain on your plumbing system. In addition, water-saving resources recommend reducing the use of your garbage disposal as a potential water-saving measure. 
Why does organics recycling matter?
 When our food ends up in landfills, it emits methane (a greenhouse gas about 80 times more harmful than carbon dioxide) as it rots. By diverting organic waste away from landfills, we can minimize harmful emissions and in turn, make black gold--compost. Compost is nutrient-rich, helps retain soil moisture and composition, reduces our need for fertilizer, and increases crop output. Compost has even been found to draw carbon into our soils, reducing atmospheric CO2. 
What if I want to change my container size, get a replacement container, change my service, etc.?
Call 3-1-1 (or 916-264-5011 outside City limits) or you can submit a request here.

Download a copy of the FAQs here: SB 1383 FAQs Single and Multi FamilyFor more information on SB 1383, please see below and download these additional FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The City of Sacramento is currently developing its residential organics recycling program to be in compliance with the new statewide organics recycling mandate and some details may change. Information on food waste for businesses and commercial compliance can be found here

What is SB 1383?

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1383, establishing methane emissions reduction targets in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) in various sectors of California's economy. SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025.

Methane emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills are a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributing to global climate change. Food waste alone accounts for approximately 17-18 percent of total landfill disposal. Increasing food waste prevention, encouraging edible food rescue, and expanding the composting and diversion of organic waste throughout the state will help reduce methane emissions from California's landfills. 

Statewide Timeline

July 1, 2020 - CalRecycle begins analyzing the progress that the waste sector, state governments, and local governments have made in regards to achieving organic waste reduction targets for 2020 and 2025. Upon conclusion of this analysis, CalRecycle may include incentives or additional requirements in the regulations to facilitate progress toward achieving the organic disposal reduction targets.

July 1, 2021 - Businesses in Sacramento must meet state mandates for diverting recyclables and organic material. 

January 1, 2022 - CalRecycle’s regulations to meet the organic waste reduction targets for 2020 and 2025 take effect and are enforceable on this date. 

January 1, 2024 - CalRecycle may require local jurisdictions to impose penalties for non-compliance on regulated entities subject to their authority.

January 1, 2025 - By this date, the state must achieve a 75% reduction in the level of statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level. In addition, not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food must be recovered for human consumption.

Who is Affected?

The new organic waste law affects all Californians, including single- and multi-family homes, commercial entities, and schools. The City of Sacramento launched its organics recycling program for residents in summer 2022. If you would like more information, you can watch this short video or visit this website.