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Houses: Organics (Green) Cart

Organic waste accounts for more than a third of the material in California's waste stream. Greenhouse gas emissions caused by the decomposition of organic material in landfills contributes to global climate change. Reducing the amount of organic material sent to landfill is part of California's Short Lived Climate Pollutant strategy (SB 1383) and is one of California's strategies for reaching a statewide 75% recycling goal. 

Scroll down to see list of acceptable organic materials that can be placed in the green cart. 


Benefits of Composting in the Green Cart and Applying Compost to Soil

  • ​Reduce material going into black landfill cart (reduce size = save money!)
  • Reduces organic material sent to local landfills. 
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Increases water retention in your soil. 
  • Returns nutrients to the soil, such as phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and many trace minerals, which are slowly released and contribute to healthy plant growth.
  • Suppresses weed growth. 
  • Helps control erosion. 
  • Fire remediation. 
  • Strengthen market demand for compost. 

Green Cart Information

The standard residential green cart size is 64-gallons, but if you routinely have more organic material than can fit in your cart, Republic Services can exchange your cart for a 96-gallon cart at no charge, or provide a second green cart for an additional monthly fee. Residents can also request a smaller 32-gallon green cart.  For additional details and to make account changes, call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711. 

Kitchen Food Scrap Container

Residents can call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711 to request a 3-gallon kitchen food scraps container at no cost, once annually. One will be delivered to your home by the following service day. 

How to Contain Your Food Scraps for Clean Composting

To compost food scraps in your green organics cart, residents are encouraged to use newspaper, paper bags or BPI-Certified compostable bags to wrap food. Residents can also dump food loose into the green cart. No plastic accepted in the green cart. It is best to cover food scraps with green material, and if needed, place a piece of cardboard or newspaper at the bottom of your green cart to avoid sticking. Click here to learn more about composting food scraps in your green organics cart. 

Townhome Residents

If you live in a townhome and currently only have a blue recycle and black landfill cart, you can call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711 to request a green organics cart to compost organic material for an additional monthly fee. Starting January 1, 2022, all townhome residents will be required to compost organic material curbside, along with single-family home residents under California State Law SB 1383. 

Residential Services Guide

Download the Residential Services Guide here. Residents can also call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711 to request a free mailed guide. 

On-Call Organics Collection Services

All single-family households can schedule up to four (4) on-call recyclables and/or organics services annually at no additional charge. Call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711 to schedule a date (please call at least two weeks in advance).

  • The total amount of organic material accepted per service is two cubic yards (the equivalent of fourteen 32-gallon bags).
  • Organic material should be placed in BPI-certified compostable bags or paper bags only, or bundled loosely with ties.
  • No black or plastic bags. If material is in plastic, it will not be picked up
  • Weight limit of 25 pounds or less per bag or bundle.


The following organic materials are accepted in the green organics cart: 

Yard Trimmings

  • Brush
  • Flower cuttings
  • Flower arrangements
  • Garden trimmings
  • Hay and straw
  • House plants (shake dirt off) 
  • Lawn clippings
  • Leaves
  • Prunings
  • Shrubbery
  • Untreated wood (4 feet or less in length and 6 inches in diameter)
  • Wood chips 
  • Weeds 
  • Vines (NO poison oak or poison ivy - landfill) 
  • Palm leaves 
  • Cacti
  • Clean pet bedding and shavings (made from paper or wood)  

All Food Scraps

Click here to learn more about composting food scraps in your green organics cart. 

  • Raw or cooked food scraps
  • Frozen food (remove all packaging) 
  • Canned or packaged food (remove all packaging)
  • Vegetables 
  • All meat and seafood (remove foil and/or packaging) 
  • Bones and shells
  • Dairy
  • Bread, grains, pasta
  • Fruits (pits too!) 
  • Egg shells 

Uncoated Food-Soiled Paper

All coated food grade paper materials (shiny on one side) are coated with plastic. It is very rare to find wax coated materials these days. These materials are a contaminant in the green cart. Please put all coated food grade paper in your black landfill cart.

The following uncoated paper materials can be composted in your green organics cart:  

  • Pizza boxes
  • Uncoated paper plates
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper towels 
  • Paper egg cartons 
  • Bamboo and wood chop sticks


**The following materials should never be placed in your green cart

Many of the materials below should go in your black landfill cart, or may have special disposal needs. Call Republic Services at (925) 685-4711 with questions.  

  • No Plastic
  • Coated (shiny) food grade paper materials (landfill) 
  • Biodegradable and "compostable" plastics (landfill)  
  • Ashes (landfill - cool first) 
  • Large tree trunks and stumps 
  • Pet waste or manure (landfill) 
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Poison oak, poison ivy (landfill) 
  • Rocks, concrete, sod or dirt 
  • Treated or painted wood