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/Burgundy 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 organics recycling from their trash. Organics recycling refers to materials that come from plants or animals, such as food scraps, paper products, and yard trimmings. Below is a list of acceptable and unacceptable organics recycling materials:

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, & 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.

Common Questions

Why is bagging of food scraps and food-soiled paper products required?

Bagging is required because food scraps and food-soiled paper products are sorted at the transfer station in order to be processed separately from yard trimmings.  At this time, bagging food scraps and food-soiled paper products is the way materials can be sorted at the transfer station.

How should leftover food be bagged?

All food scraps (bread, fruit, vegetables, meat, etc.) and food-soiled paper products (napkins, paper plates, etc.) should be secured in a clear plastic bag and then placed in your organics cart along with loose yard trimmings.  

What kind of bag should I use?

Any household plastic bag will work if it is clear or translucent and the contents are visible. No special plastic, compostable, or biodegradable bag is required.

Will the City provide pails for organics, and provide bags for the pails?

Each Glendale resident can pick up an organics recycling pail from the Public Works Integrated Waste office. Request a free organics recycling pail here or email Bags will not be provided. 

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, such as beverage cups or take-out containers, must be placed in the trash.

Can a used pizza box be added to the organics recycling cart?

The food-soiled bottom half of pizza boxes can be separated and placed in the organics recycling cart (bagging is not required). The clean part of the pizza box can be placed in the recycling cart. If you need further clarification, email us at

What happens to the plastic bag used to collect organics?

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

Why aren’t tea bags accepted in the organics recycling cart?

Tea bags are not accepted in organics recycling because they do not fully decompose. Tea bags are made of a variety of materials such as bleached paper, plastic or nylon and are often sealed with glue and other chemicals. Visual inspections of tea bags are impossible, so unless you are confident that the tea bag and its materials are completely decomposable, it is better to default on not accepting tea bags in the organics cart.

How should I recycle shredded paper?

Shredded paper is difficult to recycle at a recycling center. Once ripped open, the materials are more likely to scatter. Bag your shredded paper in a clear plastic bag and place it into the organics cart for its best chance at being recycled. All shredded paper should be free of staples, tape, and window envelopes.

What exactly happens to the materials I place in my organics recycling 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. Food scraps are 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, email us at or watch this video.

It makes a difference

Benefits of Organics Recycling

Less Pollution

Composting your organics recycling 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 your organics recycling into renewable energy used to power those facilities and the public utility grid.

Less Landfill

Organics recycling 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 a curbside collection 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 (black bodied carts with color-coded lids as described).  In the meantime, residents can begin bagging their organics recycling such as food scraps and food-soiled paper products and place them in their existing green carts. For more information visit the City of Glendale website or email us at

For residents who live in buildings with 5 or more unitS

Recycling at Your Apartment

Multi-family properties with 5 or more units in Glendale 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