Sacramento recyclingAs the capital of California and the core of the Sacramento Valley, Sacramento (pop. 475,516) is one of the West’s most influential cities, and as such, recycling has seen a growing presence in this political hub in north-central California. Sacramento’s Department of Utilities Solid Waste Services provides single-stream recycling collection service to more than 124,000 households — spanning virtually the entire limits of the city. Upon pick-up, recyclables are taken to a sorting facility in Sacramento, where they are categorized and shipped to markets that produce products made from recycled content. Recently, the city has sought to incentivize recycling by asking residents to take the City of Sacramento Recycling Pledge. Pledge members are eligible to win a Nintendo Wii console (as of time of publication).

Materials recycled

Paper Including cardboard (broken down and placed in the recycling bin), boxboard (e.g., shoeboxes, tissue boxes and cereal boxes), newspaper, magazines, catalogs, glossy paper, paper bags, paper packaging, egg cartons, junk mail, phone books and soft-cover books, envelopes (labels or windows OK), office paper (all colors), shredded paper (OK only in clear bags). Plastics Including plastics numbered 1 through 7, all CRV containers, bottles and jugs (lids/caps removed; rinsed and emptied), tubs and containers (e.g., yogurt, margarine), plastic bags (stuff several bags inside each other), buckets, pales, crates, toys (e.g., plastic tricycles), clamshell trays and deli containers, plant pots (no ceramic) and laundry baskets. No Styrofoam accepted. Metals Including aluminum cans, tin and steel cans, clean aluminum pans and foil, empty aerosol cans, small scrap, pots, pans, utensils and loose lids from jars. Glass Clear and colored bottles and jars (rinsed; no lids or plastic rings; labels OK)


Curbside pick-up occurs on a weekly basis, day of the week depending on location (a pick-up day finder is available online.) Bins must be placed curbside by 6 a.m. on day of pick-up. Containers must be at least half-full to be placed curbside. They must be spaced 3 feet from each other, and 6 feet from cars, utility poles, mailboxes, boats and other obstructions.

Other programs

Sacramento’s yard waste collection program, which offers eight annual pick-up days spread throughout the seasons, is utilized by more than 100,000 residents. The city accepts leaves, grass trimmings, tree and shrub prunings, Christmas trees and sod (dirt removed). Yard waste must be put in an approved 96-gallon bin and placed curbside on collection day. Due to large seasonal demand, collection can fall behind schedule. An annual collection calendar can be found online. Per California state law, medical sharps can be returned anywhere they are obtained within the state for proper disposal. Sharps users can also mail back used sharps by sending to services approved by the California Department of Health, or they can drop sharps off at regional household hazardous waste facilities (more information below). Used motor oil can be properly disposed of on an appointment-only basis by contacting the City of Sacramento at 916.264.5011. Motor oil can also be taken to an HHW facility for safe disposal. A number of convenient battery and fluorescent lamp drop-off locations are scattered around Sacramento. Door-to-door collection by appointment is also a popular alternative. Sacramento residents can utilize local HHW facilities for those hard-to-recycle household items. The Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station is located at 8491 Fruitridge Rd. The facility accepts antifreeze, batteries, used motor oil and filters and paint on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the above items are accepted, as well as a host of others (including some e-waste items), from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fees, guidelines and penalties do apply. The County of Sacramento’s North Area Recovery Station, at 4450 Roseville Rd., also accepts HHW materials.

More information

Visit the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities website for more recycling program info.