Below you can find the latest information about garbage collection in the City, including best practices for maintaining your recepticles, available low-income programs, collections methods for excess, bulky, or hazardous materials, and much more on how to collect trash in the City of Santa Rosa.
Best Practices for Waste Collection
A clean Santa Rosa is a beautiful Santa Rosa! In order to ensure a clean and beautiful community, the City of Santa Rosa asks residents to follow City Code Chapter 9-12 (Refuse and Sanitation) to ensure that they properly sort, stow, and dispose of all material in a manner that is courteous to street sweeping staff as well as to your neighbors and community.
- 24-hour grace period. Put out and take in garbage cans no longer than 24 hours prior to and 24 hours after your garbage collection day. You can find your assigned date of garbage collection by visiting the Recology website and entering in your street address.
- Store your containers. Once the 24-hour grace period ends, refuse containers should be off the streets, sidewalks and other areas in the public right-of-way. As a courtesy to your neighbors, store garbage and recycling containers out of public view, such as behind a fence or in a designated area that does not detract from neighborhood aesthetics
- Sort your refuse. Place all garbage, recycling, and organic material in the appropriate bin. Remember, gray for garbage; blue of recycling, and green for organic material. It's always best to know what goes where.
- Keep cans from overflowing. Trash can easily fall out of the bin if not properly stowed with the lids closed. If your cans are overflowing, there's a good chance garbage may end up in the street.
Exclusive Solid Waste Collection Franchise
The City of Santa Rosa and Recology, Inc. dba Recology Sonoma Marin maintain an exclusive franchise agreement for the collection of solid waste, organic waste and recyclable materials in the city pursuant to Chapter 9-12 of the Santa Rosa City Code. The term of the agreement begins on January 1, 2018 and ends on December 31, 2032, for a term of fifteen (15) years.
Solid Waste Collection Services Agreement
In Santa Rosa, low-income households may be eligible for a 15% discount. Participation in the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) CARE program qualifies you for Recology’s low-income rate program.
Simply mail or email Recology a copy of your most current PG&E bill showing participation in the CARE program. The name and address on your PG&E account must match the name and address on your Recology account. Please note that you may be asked to verify annually.
Bulky Item Collection
Residential customers receive two free pickups per year (multi-family dwellings also receive two free pickups per year, however the pickup must be scheduled by the property manager). Collections are permitted of up to three cubic yards of large item material per collection. Large items in excess of these amounts will incur an extra charge. The service account must be in your name.
Recology’s bulky item pick-up program does not accept liquids, dirt, rock, concrete or asphalt, hazardous waste, auto parts that have contained liquids, items with an internal combustion engine (such as lawnmowers or weed eaters) and propane tanks. Please contact Recology to schedule a bulky-item pickup at 1-800-243-0291.
Recology Sonoma Marin's customer service and administration office is located in Santa Rosa. Please contact Recology regarding questions about waste collection, bulky item pickup, street sweeping, billing/rates, etc.
Zero Waste Sonoma
Zero Waste Sonoma (formerly the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency) is a joint powers authority whose mission is to implement waste diversion programs as required by State Law AB 939. Formed in 1992, Zero Waste Sonoma includes the nine incorporated cities and the County of Sonoma. Zero Waste Sonoma’s job is to inform local Sonoma County residents and businesses of ways they can help reduce, reuse and recycle their solid waste and properly dispose of hazardous materials. Zero Waste Sonoma’s website provides resources and guidance regarding household hazardous waste disposal, composting, wood waste recycling and planning and education. Zero Waste Sonoma website
AB 1826: Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Law
A 2014 state-wide waste characterization report found that organic materials such as food scraps, leaves, grass, and branch trimmings made up 37.4% of the waste stream. Food was the single most prevalent material disposed, making up 18.1% of the entire waste stream by itself -- that's 5.6 million tons collected from one study. When these materials are disposed of in a landfill, they produce methane, which is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than CO2 and a major contributor to climate change. To address this issue, Governor Brown signed AB 1826 into state law in October 2014, mandating that commercial entities subscribe to an organic material hauling service or divert organic materials from the landfill through some other means.
As of January 2019, all commercial entities producing more than 4 cubic yards of solid waste a week are affected by AB 1826. Please note that "solid waste" means the entire generated waste stream, including garbage, recyclables, and organic material. Some examples of commercial entities are:
- for-profit and non-profit organizations (e.g., restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, farms, industrial facilities, hospitals)
- government offices and agencies
- private and public schools
- multifamily residential dwellings with five or more units
Note: Multifamily residential dwellings are only required to have landscaping and yard debris composted. Residential food scrap composting is optional.
How to Become Compliant
Please call Recology (800-243-0291) to have your organic materials transported to a compost facility. Their customer service representatives will help you choose a container size, location, and service frequency that is best for your situation. In most cases, adding organics service will be at no extra cost. They can provide educational materials and staff training as well.
If having organic materials hauled away isn't right for you or your organization, there are other options available. Doing any of the following, alone or in combination, will make an entity compliant with the law:
- Donating food to feed people or animals (e.g., hogs or cattle)
- On-site composting
- Self-hauling or back-hauling to a permitted compost facility
- Having a landscaping contractor haul away yard debris to a permitted compost facility
- Please note that if your organization does not use a hauling company or sign up for organics hauling service, you will need to complete an exemption form, which you can find in the following section.
Some organizations may qualify for an exemption, but you must submit an exemption form (links below) for consideration. The following reasons apply:
- The amount of organic material produced each week is less than half a cubic yard
- There is not sufficient space for an organic material collection container on site
- A significant portion of organic material is already being diverted from landfill through other means, such as food donation to pig farms, on-site composting, self-hauling, or back-hauling
Recology or Zero Waste Sonoma staff are available to provide assistance in complying with AB 1826. These services come at no extra cost:
- On-site waste assessment
- Training for employees, staff, students, and residents
- Posters, guides, and other digital or print educational material
- Tabling, workshops, presentations, and other education/outreach events
Many of the events listed in the guide have changed due to the pandemic, so we encourage you to check out the Zero Waste Sonoma calendar for the latest updates and information.
Hauler-specific educational resources
Contact Recology Sonoma Marin at 800-243-0291 or City of Santa Rosa Transportation and Public Works at 707-543-3800.