Recycling in Glendale

Did you know that 40% of what is thrown away can be diverted from the landfill? Sixty percent of this organic material is food waste since properties already divert green waste. We need your help to be a master recycler at home and work!

Read on for more information about how recycling in Glendale works!


What Goes in Which Cart?

Pro tip: Not all plastics are recyclable. For more information about what is accepted, please contact the Recycle Center at (818) 552-2870.

  • Aluminum Cans
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Clean Paper and Flattened Cardboard
  • Glass and Metal
  • Plastic Containers, Jugs, and Bottles

Green Cart= Organics

Go green. Just a friendly reminder that food scraps must be placed in clear plastic bags before going into the green cart.

  • Bones, Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Softshell
  • Coffee Grounds & Filters
  • Meat and Fish (bones are OK)
  • Used Paper Products (dirtied paper bags, napkins, paper towels)
  • Yard Trimmings

Black Cart = Trash

When it doubt, throw it out. Recycling incorrectly makes recycling more costly and less efficient for everyone. 

  • Compostable Cups, Plates, and Cutlery
  • Palm Fronds
  • Plastic Films
  • Pet Waste
  • Straws
  • Tea Bags
Helpful Tips

What is Organics Recycling?

Starting in 2022, Californians are required to separate their organic waste from their trash. Organic waste refers to materials that come from plants or animals, such as food scraps and yard trimmings. Below is a list of acceptable and unacceptable green cart items:

Food Scraps, Food-Soiled Paper Products, & Yard Trimmings

  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Bones, Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Softshell
  • Bread, Cheese, & Pastries
  • Coffee Grounds & Filters
  • Food-Soiled Paper Bags, Napkins, & Towels
  • Pasta, Grains, Rice, and Beans
  • Flowers, Branches, Leaves & Grass


  • Bathroom, Facial Tissue, or Wipes
  • Compostable Cups or Utensils
  • Flower Pots
  • Hard Shell Seafood (Clams, Mussels, & Oysters)
  • Human and Animal Waste
  • Produce Stickers
  • Tea Bags and Wrappers

Learn more about the details of organics recycling and hear our team respond to questions and concerns.

A Note on bagging

Common Questions

What kind of bag should I use?

Any household bag will work as long as it is clear or translucent and the contents are visible. Large clear refrigerator bags or clear kitchen bags tied at the top will work.  Compostable bags are NOT required but may be used.

Why are we required to bag food scraps and soiled paper products?

Bagging is required because food scraps and soiled paper products (“food scraps”) are processed separately from yard trimmings and taken to different destinations. Bagging these items remains the best and only way that our regional transfer facilities can process yard trimmings and food scraps separately (See next question for details).

What exactly happens to the materials in my organics cart after they’re collected?

The materials from your organics cart are sent to a transfer facility where food scraps are separated from the yard trimmings and inspected for contamination. Any organic waste that is contaminated with non-organic materials is landfilled. Food scraps are then transported to a processing facility where they are either used to generate electricity via anaerobic digestion or made into compost. Yard trimmings are taken to a separate facility and turned into mulch or compost.

For more information about organics recycling or to watch this video.

What happens to plastic that is placed into the organics cart?

All plastic bags used to collect food scraps are broken apart and sent to the landfill after arriving at their final processing destination.

Can paper plates be added to the organics cart?

Many paper products have a waxy lining or plastic coating that cannot be processed by our facilities. Any paper products that have this lining or coating, such as beverage cups or take-out containers, must be placed in the trash.

What if I have food-soiled paper products that are too big for a bag, like pizza boxes? Can they be placed loose in the organics cart?

The soiled bottom half of pizza boxes can be separated and placed in the organics cart. The clean top half of the pizza box can be placed in your grey/blue recycling cart. Take-out containers that do not have a waxy lining or plastic coating can be bagged with food scraps and placed in the organics cart. If you need further clarification, email us at

Will the City provide kitchen collection pails and bags?

The City will provide kitchen collection pails to make the separation of food scraps more convenient. Initially, the kitchen collection pails will be distributed to our Monday residential collection routes this spring and to our other routes over the next few years. Additionally, residents who are not on the Monday collection route may pick up a free kitchen pail from Public Works Integrated Waste in July. Bags are not provided. 

It makes a difference

Benefits of Organics Recycling

Less Pollution

Composting organic waste instead of sending it to landfills will significantly reduce methane emissions, which contribute to climate change.

Renewable Energy

New facilities in our state will turn organic waste into renewable energy used to power those facilities and the public utility grid.

Less Landfill

Organic waste currently makes up half of what Californians dump in landfills. Diverting it to composting facilities will help extend the life of landfills.

What about other types of waste?

Not everything goes in the cart. Learn more about the other types of waste that have more specific protocols for responsible removal.

Household Hazardous Waste


Bulky Items

For residents who live in buildings with 1-4 units

Recycling at Your Single-Family Home, Condo or Townhouse

The City provides trash, recycling, and organics collection services to residents of single-family homes and multi-family properties with 2-4 units. Starting in 2022, all residents are required to subscribe to trash (black), recycling (blue) and organics (green) collection services. The City is currently undertaking a project to replace all burgundy, gray and green colored carts with the new State standard carts described.  In the meantime, residents should start placing organic waste such as food scraps and food-soiled paper products in their existing green carts. For more information visit the City of Glendale website.

For residents who live in buildings with 5 or more unitS

Recycling at Your Apartment

Starting in 2022, multi-family properties with 5 or more units in Glendale will receive trash, recycling, and organics collection services from one of four haulers.

For Teachers

Recycling at Schools

Integrated Waste Management shares the commitment and concern of our educators when it comes to teaching the importance of recycling to the next generation. We also believe that children are some of our best recycling advocates!

For Businesses

Green Business Certification

Become one of Glendale’s first certified Green Businesses! The City of Glendale provides a FREE business assistance program to help you “go green” and become more efficient, profitable and sustainable. The certification is based upon property size and business

Glendale Certified Green Business logo

Call us

Call us now at (818) 548-3916

Visit our pages for: Teachers | Green Businesses | Haulers

© City of Glendale 2022