Green Waste Recycling

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greenwasterecycling-GrandmotherAndChildThe City of Santa Maria offers a curbside Green Waste Recycling program. Recycling green waste not only protects our environment but preserves our natural resources. Instead of disposing of leaves, brush and grass into your trash can, you can now place those items in a container that will be collected every other week. Yard materials collected from this program are diverted from the landfill and recycled into mulch and compost.

The green waste recycling program will extend the life of the landfill for a number of years. By extending the life of the landfill, the City can save money deferring capital costs to a build a new landfill. The Solid Waste per Capita Disposal Measurement Act requires cities and counties to meet waste diversion requirements and create a number of recycling programs, such as Green Waste Recycling. You can do your part and help by recycling your green waste. It’s easy!

  • Green Waste Recycling Brochures:
  • Contact the Utilities Department at (805) 925-0951 ext. 7270 or via email.


Green Waste Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Green Waste Recycling Program?

The Green Waste Recycling Program is an opportunity for City of Santa Maria residents to place their green waste in a curbside container that would be collected every other week. The collected green waste is composted which allows the City to extend the life of the current landfill. By making it easy to recycle their green waste, this encourages the resident from placing green waste in the trash container or haul the green waste to another location.

Who can participate in the program?

The program is a component of your solid waste service and available to all residential trash customers in the City of Santa Maria.

I am a commercial account and want green waste.

Commercial customers with residential container service can request green waste containers as part of their solid waste fee. Commercial customers with Dumpster must sign-up with the residential trash service to get the green waste service. However, green waste containers only come in 90-gallon containers. There will be no green waste collected in dumpsters.

When will my container be serviced?

Green waste containers are serviced every other week, opposite your recycling week. Recycling containers have blue lids and green waste containers have brown lids. These two containers will never be serviced the same day of your collection week.

Where do I place my green waste container?

Please place your green waste container in the street with your trash container. Be sure to leave five feet between your trash container and green waste container. The collection vehicle’s automated mechanical grips wrap around the containers and lift them to the top of the truck to be emptied. If the container is not clear from obstructions such as cars, basketball hoops, fences, posts, mailboxes, or other containers, there is a risk of property damage. For your protection, your container may not be serviced if the proper clearance is not provided and be additionally charged for an extra haul rate for a non-scheduled pick-up.

What can I put in my green waste container?

Leaves, fallen fruit, grass clippings, weeds, plant prunings, small branches, clean wood, and plants with little soil. See the top of your green waste container lid for more details.

What kind of materials are not acceptable for green waste recycling?

Plastic bags, glass, paper, trash, animal waste, diapers, Palm or Yucca trimmings, dirt, asphalt, cement, metal, paint, or hazardous waste, pressure treated, glued or painted wood waste. See the top of your green waste container lid for more details.

What happens if I do not want to participate in the program? Do I still have to pay the increased amount on my utility bill?

While participation is voluntary and encouraged, you may call the Utilities Department at 925-0951 ext. 7270 to have your green waste container removed. Green waste curbside collection services are a component of your solid waste service and your rate. These services include: trash collection, recycling, green waste recycling, and street sweeping. Your rate will remain the same. However, if you currently have a 90 gallon refuse container and switch to a 60 gallon refuse container, your bill will not change. Call the Utility Billing division at 925-0951 ext. 217 for more information.

Where does my green waste go?

Your green waste will be collected by City refuse vehicles and transported to a compost facility for processing.

What happens if I contaminate my green waste container?

Please follow the list given of the types of materials that can be placed in your green waste container. Items placed in your container other than what is on the list could result in contamination, and jeopardize the quality of the compost product. If contaminated items are repeatedly noticed in your container, it may require us to treat it as trash, with the appropriate fee charged to the customer for that service and removal of your green waste container.

My green waste container is broken. How can I get a new one?

Call the Utilities Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 7270 and arrangements will be made to replace your broken container.

I recently moved into a home that does not have a green waste container. How do I get one?

Call the Utilities Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 7270 and arrangements will be made to deliver you a green waste container.

Can I get more than one green waste container?

Yes, please contact the Utilities Department to get more than one green waste container delivered to you.

I typically put my green waste in a plastic bag. Can that be put in the green waste container?

Plastic bags do not break down during the composting process and remain one of the biggest contaminants of the finished compost. There should be no plastic bags in the green waste container. If you bag your green waste in plastic bags, either empty the bag into the green waste container or cut out the plastic bag so the green waste contents fall into the green waste container.

Is my green waste container going to smell since it is an every other week green waste collection?

As long as the lid stays closed, there should be no issue with odors.

Can I put out all three of the containers out on my collection day?

There should only be two containers placed on the curb on your collection day. The refuse container (green lid) is collected weekly and depending on your service schedule it will be either the recycle container (blue lid) or the green waste container (brown lid) on the curb as well.

I am confused on whether I need to put out my green waste container (brown lid) or recycle container (blue lid) out?

To find out your green waste or recycle container collection schedule please refer to the calendar supplied with your green waste container which shows the green waste and recycle container collection week for your zone. You can also contact the Utilities Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 7270 and based on your address shall be able to supply you your collection schedule and/or provide you with a new calendar.


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